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Tree-top Sentinel

Tree-top Sentinel
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/2500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos, Small bird, big World, Where they Usually Are Not [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-22 3:23
Viewed: 4110
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
We usually think of waders as standing in or by water on mudflats or shores. But during the breeding season some species can use prominent perches to keep watch on their territories.

One of these is the Greenshank (Tringa nebularia). I first heard its piping calls, ‘cioo, cioo’, that signaled some sort of alarm. We had stopped the car on a track in a nature reserve the purpose of which was to preserve an area of sub-alpine primary forest. This area consisted mainly of old spruces interspersed by bogs and small lakes. On walking towards the source of the calls I saw this greenshank high up on the top of an old spruce tree.

Greenshanks nest in the arctic and sub-arctic areas of N. Europe and N. Asia.

He has his nest hidden nearby among the vegetation of the forest floor. Though both parents take turns in brooding the eggs, the female leaves her mate to let him look after the young after they have hatched. She then flies south to overwinter in tropical Africa. Greenshanks breeding in N. Asia overwinter in the Asian tropics and Australia. He follows her a month or so later with his young when they can fly.

This Greenshank was obviously alarmed by our presence and before we left him in peace I took some shots. I took one of him while he was calling with his bill open but this one turned out to be the best one. As this spruce was about 12 meters high, I must have taken this at a distance of about 15,00 meters (50 ft).

The old Spruce (Picea abies) is common and widespread in forest plantations for the production of pulp and timber in large areas of Sweden. However, in the uncultivated form it is now rare and is found in isolated pockets in the north and along the Swedish mountains.

The harsh winter climate allows only slow growth and the heavy snows cause the branches to slope down steeply. These spruces are not managed and are covered with many species of lichens, some of the rare, that hang and thrive in the clean air. They can reach an age of several hundred years and this old one has a dead top that is used by this greenshank.

They provide a habitat not only for greenshanks, but Siberian jays, Siberian Tits and a variety of Northern insects. Unfortunately the vast majority have been turned into pulp to produce newspaper and advertising. This is one of the reasons why Ulla and I have put up a sticker on our mailbox refusing the acceptance of adverts.

After moderate cropping and size reduction the image was sharpened and light levels were adjusted.

rkailas, MMM, haraprasan, matatur, nirmalroberts, meyerd, eqshannon, vanderschelden, jaycee, Juyona, jignasi, nglen, CeltickRanger, goldyrs, Jamesp, Janice, red45, Silke, maurydv, falke, rousettus, pekkavalo1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pankajbajpai: ThanksArgus 1 07-23 07:39
To efsus: Tesekkür!Argus 1 07-22 22:15
To matatur: ThanksArgus 1 07-22 07:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Ivan

Yes, a very unusual position of this wader! Well seen. Excellent exposure despite the seemingly harsh light and bright BG. Nice catchlight in the eyes as well.

TFS and Best

Hi Ivan
Thank you for interesting notes. Picture with
very clear detail.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-07-22 5:31]

Hello Ivan,
Excellent shot of this Greenshank
Brilliant sharpness
good low-down POV
Well composed.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-07-22 6:17]

Hi Ivan
Interesting capture.Different POV I did not know that they could perch on top of tree.Sharp image with good detail.
TFS Michel

Hola my friend!
It is so nice to observe that you haven't lost anything from your expertise in delightful nature photography while I was away in Cesme! Your fine composition is a virtual balm to sun-weary eyes Ivan, thank you indeed...
(Come to Izmir yesterday, will be back to Cesme tomorrow...)

Hi Ivan,
That's a great vantage point for this wader.
- Nirmal

Hi Ivan,
so wonderful, the picture. The elegance! And you got the light to work for you. We never have the chance for such a sight.

Best regards

I cannot remember who else had an image such as this...and it does in deed look out of place in a humorous way. I have one or two of these images...and when taken from this angle..it gives the bird a complete physical exam in its relationship to the world around. Very neat Ivan. i shall add to an appropriate theme..

Hello Ivan
Just Marking for Now

That's definitely THE perch, Ivan.
It's more a watchtower actually.:-)
Good sharpness though and the eye/posture is very good.
Well done

What a great capture Ivan! I couldn't help laughing when I opened it. It is a nice sharp image of a wonderful pose. Thanks for sharing.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-22 10:02]

Hi Ivan,

I would be amazed to see a wader on the very top of a tree - I probably would have dropped my camera! I love this shot - the tree and the Greenshank look wonderful against the beautiful blue sky. Details are excellent and the way he is standing on those tall legs on the two small branches is fascinating.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-07-22 12:21]

Hola amigo,
buena captura y pose realmente original,
pov y buen foco...
saludos Ivan.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-22 13:33]

Hi Ivan. What an unusual pose i suppose it got a good view and a look out post. It give a chance to see the underside of the bird not a POV we would often get. You have captured natural colours and detail. well done TFS.

Una imagen diferente y muy conseguida Ivan. Un equilibrado y bien encuadrado trabajo que hace juego con esa excelente explicación que nos haces, no solo del ave sino del entorno y los árboles.


hello Ivan

WOW ! again a WOW ! what a superb shot, excellent timing
from you too shoot it in image, very fine POV and appropriate framing,
it is the first time i am seeing a limicole bird (un oiseau limicole) pearched on a tree,
excellent observation from you and thanks for sharing it, TFS


A magnificant shot, accompanied by a superbe note!Ivan, your love for nature never ceases to amaze me!

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-07-22 22:55]

Hi Ivan

Great pose with excellent framing. Excellent detail and colour. Great work.


  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-07-23 0:21]

Hello Ivan,
It's very funny view. Good POV and excellent result.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-07-23 0:48]

What a lovely pose - maybe the bird thought the tide was coming in too quickly. No, I have read your interesting notes Ivan.
Good catch of the Greenshank - and he certainly drew your attention away from Mrs Greenshank and her eggs.
It's a great shot

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-07-23 4:20]

Hello Ivan, that's a fine shot of that bird, I like the pov and the perfect exposure, well done, thanks!


  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-07-23 5:02]

Hi İvan
vey nice composition
well done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-07-23 5:06]

Hi Ivan!

Agree with you - there isn't much water on top of tree :-) Looks like sentinel has got good reason to be there :-) I like composition and blue sky. I don't know why exactly, but it remainds me Christmas Tree :-)

Hi Ivan,
This is a great capture of this greenshank. It seems the light was harsh and also it was at a distance as you have mentioned moderate cropping. But in my view you have did it pretty well to give a soothing view. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

hello ivan,

very nice capture, i liked the vertical composition keeping the bird on top and the blue aky at the bg very much, very nice pov too, well done,

I am taking break for a couple of weeks and hope to see your good work again when i come back,



  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-07-23 7:12]

Hello Ivan,
Special composition in this photo, but very beautiful. Good sharpness and details. Great natural colours and pose.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-07-23 8:21]

Great work Ivan, and pretty unusual to see a wader perched like this! At least to me anyway! A fine point of view and very nice blue background - well done!

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2008-07-24 5:34]

A very rare sight to *my* eyes!
superb details and wonderful light management against that blue sky

Hi Ivan, great composition with lovely bird, wonderful colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

Ciao Ivan,
spettacolare ed insolito posatoio per un limicolo, eccellenti POV, DOF e composizione,
straordinaria nitidezza e bellissima luce.
Grazie e complimenti

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-07-24 12:22]
  • [+]

Merhaba Ivan,
Bu su kuşunun bu ağacın tepesinde ne işi var? Oldukça sıradışı bir poz olmuş. Ayrıca arka plan ve diğer ayrıntılar kusursuz görünüyor. Eline sağlık.

Great shot, you captured this expression of the bird so kept in his job. Very sharp, and an interesting point of view.
Wishes, Diana

  • Great 
  • falke Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 153 W: 18 N: 479] (1863)
  • [2008-07-25 3:51]

Haha, this is nice! I have never seen them in this position before and I didn't know about this behaviour neither. Great note!

Best regards/Bengt

Hi Ivan,
Excellent capture of Greenshank up the tree. I have never seen this particular wader in tree and it looks quite funny with its very long legs. Well composed with sharp details and good lighting.

merhaba Ivan
Up to now, I have seen this wader bird in many times. But I have never seen it on a tree. Wonderful scene with a excellent timing. Great focus and composition, superb colors. thanks for showing it to us. best wishes

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