Tag Archives: Magnificent Frigatebird

Cruising Wildlife

Lynn and I were fortunate to be able to cruise the Caribbean once again earlier this month. I love watching birds and wildlife and trying to make photographs of their behavior.  On this trip we both saw something for the first time.

On more than one occasion, birds followed our ship and dove for fish right along side.

Brown Boobies were following the ship and diving for fish right along side.Brown Booby

There were mostly Brown Boobies with a few Masked Boobies mixed in.

There were a few Masked Boobies fishing tooMasked Booby

Flying Fish were also plentiful along our route and the ship’s wake seemed to scare them up as we passed.

Flying Fish were plentiful along our route and the ship seemed to scare them up as we passed.Flying Fish

A closer look at the Flying FishA closer look at the Flying Fish

Photographing the birds catching fish wasn’t easy. You have to track a bird (at high magnification) as it moves just above the water and focus / shoot continuously – then hope you catch the right moment before your camera buffer runs out. I managed to get a few frames although the quality is not high. This is probably the best one.

Just before the catchJust before the catch

I was using a new camera (Olympus E-M1 II) for the bird / fish photos.  The frame rate and continuous focus capabilities really helped.  There’s a new “Pro Capture” mode on this that I couldn’t use (didn’t have the right lens).  It captures frames with the shutter button pressed half way and saves them with a final frame when fully pressed.  It would have made this use case easier.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the camera works in other situations.

We also saw Magnificent Frigatebirds. They seem pretty common in the Caribbean – mostly in the harbors. I’ve only seen a few here in Florida, along both coasts

Magnificent FrigatebirdFemale Magnificent Frigatebird

Cruise directors plan interesting things for passengers to do while at sea but these may not appeal to everyone.   It’s good to have an alternative activity available like wildlife observation and photography when you’re looking for something fun to do.

I’m collecting other photos from the trip in this album on Flickr.  And I have several other blog posts that feature photography from cruise ships.  If you’re interested, see this link:  http://edrosack.com/category/photo-ops-categorized-by-place/cruise-ships/

By the way (no.1): I realize that some spam filters may reject the email for this post due to the names of the birds.  If it happens to you, sorry.  You can always read the latest content on the web at http://edrosack.com

By the way (no. 2):  I think the search problem on the blog is resolved.  If anyone still has issues, please let me know.

By the way (no. 3):  Happy new year!  I hope all of you have a great holiday and prosperous and delightful 2017!

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2016, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

The sun, the sea, the gull, and me

Kevin M. saw online posts reporting recent sightings of Razorbills and Common Eiders at Sebastian Inlet.  So we decided to twitch down there to see if we could see them.  Along the way, we stopped by the Cocoa Beach Pier for Sunrise.  Photographers are always looking for interesting foreground for our landscape photos.  This time, an obliging gull sat still for me very close to my tripod and added some interest.

The sun, the sea, the gull, and me
The sun, the sea, the gull, and me – The Cocoa Beach Pier at sunrise – My closeness didn’t concern the Ring Billed Gull in the foreground.

After the sun rose, we headed on down A1A and got to Sebastian Inlet around 8:30.  It was my first visit to this state park and all the activity impressed me .  In addition to the birders and photographers, there were many campers, fishermen, boaters, and people just out enjoying a very nice day.  We searched up and down the park for a couple of hours, and talked to the rangers and several other birders but had no luck finding a Razorbill.  Just as we were getting ready to leave, word spread that the Common Eider had been sighted, so we all hurried over to the place marked by a pod of photographers and spotted this bird:

Common Eider
Common Eider – iBird says these don’t get much south of New England, so they are rare in Florida. My second life bird of 2013.

I did make a few more photos that morning.  Here’s an IR of the beach, sand and glare:

The beach
The beach

And here’s a Magnificent Frigatebird.  These tend to soar far overhead and off shore.  This one was a bit closer and lower and this is my best photo of one so far.  There were 9 or more in the area that morning.

A Magnificent Frigatebird glides overhead
A Magnificent Frigatebird glides overhead – I don’t often see these on the east coast of Florida. There were several at Sebastian Inlet this weekend.

We didn’t find the Razorbill, but we saw plenty.  I’m always amazed by what you can see out in nature if you go look.  Give it a try!  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.