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Spotted Shag in Flight

Spotted Shag in Flight
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 30d, Canon 70-300mm DO IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-03 1:11
Viewed: 4684
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Spotted Shag
Stictobarbo punctatus punctatus

I photographed this flying shag quite a distance away from a moving boat on the harbour at Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand.

I think it is a juvenile shag. It is a species of endemic to New Zealand.

This slender grey shag has small black spots on the back and wings and a black rump, tail and thighs. The brown bill is long and slender and the feet are yellow.

During the breeding season the bird sports a broad white stripe from above the eye, down the sides of the neck and sparse white streaks (filo plumes) on the neck and thighs. A conspicuous double head crest is curled forward and the facial skin is green.

In the non–breeding season the adult lacks crests and has an obscure white stripe on the neck, yellow facial skin and paler underparts. Silent away from their colonies, displaying males make noisy grunts and guttural sounds but females remain silent.

Spotted Shags feed at sea, often in substantial flocks, taking its prey from mid-water rather than the bottom. Small fish (ahuru, red cod, gudgeon, bullies, sprat, squid) and marine invertebrates make up their diet.

The Spotted Shag nests in colonies of 10 – 700 pairs located on coastal cliff edges or rocky islets. The breeding season is variable from year to year and in different parts of New Zealand. The nest is a platform about 0.6m across made of seaweed, grass and iceplants. The clutch of 1 – 4 pale blue eggs is incubated for 28 – 35 days. The chicks fledge at 57 – 71 days.

Notes from:

Royaldevon, Argus, eqshannon, sranjan, uleko, red45, pekkavalo1, horia has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To red45: Duck next!Janice 1 08-03 14:12
To eqshannon: Thank youJanice 1 08-03 14:10
To Argus: Hard to doJanice 1 08-03 03:12
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Janice,

Birds, particularly large birds, look so elegant in flight and you have captured this aspect beautifully.
The light has given a real depth to the shot with the l/h wing in shadow and the r/h wing nicely detailed.
Good composition.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Great shot, well done Janice. Whole bird in focus, slight movement om wingtips, very good!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-03 2:56]
  • [+]

Hello Janice,
Fine in-flight of a juvenile Spotted Shag. Good panning work here to capture him pretty sharply with a good DOF at a distance.
Thanks for sharing this one,
Have a good week,

Hi Janice ,
Nice shot at lovely moment.
Good details and nice BG.

Kind regards

I am doing some quick re-figuring by date. You took this in the "fall"? of this year as per your weather zones? gosh thinking this way also involves vortexes and all..It would be like a mystery house for me to re acclimate. Very fine image of it just over the waterline. I know you like the seas well enough as you tend to spend much time close. I am same with Northern Cal...back in the old days when I lived there...good show Janice!

Hello Janice,
Excellent capture, POV & details of an inflight bird despite of distance away from a moving boat :)

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-08-03 12:54]

Hello Janice,
Very nice and well-timed capture showing the Shag with nicely spread wings. Good focus and details and I like the 'blue' waves below.
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-08-03 13:45]
  • [+]

Hello Janice!

Very good shot of duck in flight. Wait a second, it isn't duck! Oh, I'm really dissapointed my friend :-) And where are emerald eyes :-) ? Just joking! Perfect capture. Most of all I like black silhouette on blue waves.

Hi Janice,
Very good capture of Spotted Shag in flight. Good POV and composition, sharp details and nice colours.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-08-11 8:41]

Hi Janice

This is a really beautiful in-flight of this particular species we don't get soo see much of here on TN :) A great asset and contribution to the gallery here!
The pose you managed to capture it in is lovely and the overall sharpness on the bird is very good. Even though you lost a bit of detail in the colored parts, that's surely due to the ISO400, but other than that, the shot is terrific! I also like the waves in the BG that add a little drama to the compo and complete this presentation very well.

Bravo and TFS

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