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Thread: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

  1. #1
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    This week I had been reading sitings of this bird on both coasts of Florida. This bird is not supposed to be in Florida, it lives much farther north summering off the coasts of Maine, Nova Scotia and Iceland. It only goes ashore to breed and nest spending most of it's life out at sea. After the reports of sightings my wife and I decided to drive to a barrier island about sixty miles away where they had been seen yesterday. Today broke with a cold front making it's way across the state with showers and thunderstorms. We decided to go in spite of the rain. It rained the whole drive to the island. Upon arriving the rain stopped. We got our gear out and headed over to a group of birders. One asked... " Are you here to see the Razorbills?" We answered.."Yes". He said... " They just left the Rod and Reel Pier and are heading this way". Soon enough the Razorbills rounded the jetty and swan towards the City Pier. The images posted below were shot from the City Pier as the Razorbills and Pelicans fed on a school of small fish. After 500 frames shot and a half hour in time it began to rain again, so we headed for home having accomplished our goal and feeling wonderful. So as I post these images I sit here sipping a glass of good Cabernet reliving the morning in the images. C&C welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for viewing.

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  2. #2
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    I'm so excited for you and your wife that y'all were successful! Seems like your timing was really good to get there right as that window of opportunity opened up.

    As usual, you have a nice set. The only thing is I wish I could see their eyes better but I can imagine with overcast skies and black eyes that is hard to get. But wine and reviewing a great experience - doesn't get much better than that!

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Hi Joe,

    Nice series, as usual. glad you got what you went for.

    For me the biggest problem is to do with the subject rather than the shots (so this isn't a criticism, just an observation); and that's the lack of an obvious eye, but there's not a lot you can do about that

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    I'm so excited for you and your wife that y'all were successful! Seems like your timing was really good to get there right as that window of opportunity opened up.

    As usual, you have a nice set. The only thing is I wish I could see their eyes better but I can imagine with overcast skies and black eyes that is hard to get. But wine and reviewing a great experience - doesn't get much better than that!
    Hi Terri, thank you for viewing and commenting. Regarding the eyes... they don't have eyes! Now that I said that, I tried to expose for the eyes to show but the eyes are as black as the feathers and to show the eyes the black is way overexposed. Prior to this year in all the records of bird sightings in Florida only 14 were reported. Today there were 20 to 30 off the pier.

    Here is the best eye I have worked up so far.

    Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )
    Last edited by jprzybyla; 29th December 2012 at 10:00 PM.

  5. #5
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Hi Joe,
    what I'm about to say is very wrong as this is a photography site, but I'm not to bothered about the pictures. The story for me is the winner; not that I don't like the pictures.
    To set yourself a goal and drive so far in bad weather; to capture something so rare for me is fantastic. Eye or no eye's your commitment to getting the shot has opened my eye's to how lazy I am.
    Well done and please post some more of those 500 frames.
    John

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    This bird is not supposed to be in Florida,
    Quite right - they are birds of rocky shores and cliffs - and I don't recall too many of them in Florida. Well done in getting the shots.

    Incidentally (if anyone is interested) this is one of the birds that can't fly when they leave the nest - so they tend to fall straight into the sea. Looks very hairy!

  7. #7
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    WTG!!! on capturing your accidental Razorbill, 2012 certainly has been quite the year in the SE while I was enjoying a juvi male Reddish Egret still playing on the Georgia coast in December a group of us were thrilled by the appearance of a 1st year male Snowy Owl on St Simon's Island (sadly he was out of lens range for me). I hope you're able to catch more shots and best wishes on birding in 2013!

  8. #8
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Nice Joe! Great shots and of something you get but very few chances if any to see in your area. The story gives me that oh so familar feeling and really ties the whole thing together for me. I am familar with that feel as you drove an hour out of the way hoping the birds might just be there and that the weather just might allow you a descent shot if they are.
    An interesting bird, reminds me a bit of a Penquin with wings.

  9. #9
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Great captures as always. Doyou think a flash have provided catchlights in the bird's eyes? I realize that the distance would probably be too far for any kind of fill from the flash but, sometines just the reflection of the flash in an animal's eyes helps!

  10. #10
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Joe,

    Nice series, as usual. glad you got what you went for.

    For me the biggest problem is to do with the subject rather than the shots (so this isn't a criticism, just an observation); and that's the lack of an obvious eye, but there's not a lot you can do about that

    Cheers,
    Hello Dave, your viewing and comment is very much appreciated. Extremely difficult subject, black and white together and as you wrote the obvious lack of an eye. I looked at many images of the bird online and almost all are like these (not showing an eye ). I even looked for an eye thinking of possibly putting a catch light in Photoshop without finding a distinct eye. It's as black as the feathers and lost in the blackness. Maybe a sunny day would have been better but I hate to think of trying to expose for the reflected water along with the black and white of the bird.

  11. #11
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    Hi Joe,
    what I'm about to say is very wrong as this is a photography site, but I'm not to bothered about the pictures. The story for me is the winner; not that I don't like the pictures.
    To set yourself a goal and drive so far in bad weather; to capture something so rare for me is fantastic. Eye or no eye's your commitment to getting the shot has opened my eye's to how lazy I am.
    Well done and please post some more of those 500 frames.
    John
    Thanks John for taking time to view and comment. It is not unusual for Dottie and I to do this. There are a few birding websites that tell what people are seeing and where. The only uncertainty was the rain... would it stop. For such a rare sighting we felt it was worth giving it a try.

  12. #12
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Quite right - they are birds of rocky shores and cliffs - and I don't recall too many of them in Florida. Well done in getting the shots.

    Incidentally (if anyone is interested) this is one of the birds that can't fly when they leave the nest - so they tend to fall straight into the sea. Looks very hairy!
    Thanks Dave, very much appreciated. You provided more information I did not know, from reading these birds frequent the UK.

  13. #13
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Quote Originally Posted by kentruth View Post
    WTG!!! on capturing your accidental Razorbill, 2012 certainly has been quite the year in the SE while I was enjoying a juvi male Reddish Egret still playing on the Georgia coast in December a group of us were thrilled by the appearance of a 1st year male Snowy Owl on St Simon's Island (sadly he was out of lens range for me). I hope you're able to catch more shots and best wishes on birding in 2013!
    Thank you Lesley, your comment is very much appreciated. I love Reddish Egrets, they are such clowns when feeding.

  14. #14
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    Nice Joe! Great shots and of something you get but very few chances if any to see in your area. The story gives me that oh so familar feeling and really ties the whole thing together for me. I am familar with that feel as you drove an hour out of the way hoping the birds might just be there and that the weather just might allow you a descent shot if they are.
    An interesting bird, reminds me a bit of a Penquin with wings.
    Thanks Paul, I was also reminded of a Penguin when seeing them. They even swim like Penguins using their wings rather than their feet.

  15. #15
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Razorbill Auk ( AKA... Razorbill )

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Great captures as always. Doyou think a flash have provided catchlights in the bird's eyes? I realize that the distance would probably be too far for any kind of fill from the flash but, sometines just the reflection of the flash in an animal's eyes helps!
    Hello Richard, thank you for viewing and commenting. Maybe a flash like the Better Beamer might have worked, not sure since I have never used one.

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