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Canna Guillemot 'Wave'

Canna Guillemot 'Wave'
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2007-07-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 1D Mark II, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-07-04 2:19
Viewed: 3582
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot on Sunday afternoon on a trip with Aqua Explore from Elgol on the Isle of Skye. The trip visited Rum, Sanday, Canna and Soay. This shot was taken at the bird colonies on Canna.

As usual hand held in a rocking boat poor light 10 minutes later there was a downpour!

The Common Guillemot is one of the most abundant seabirds in the temperate and colder parts of the northern hemisphere with very large populations in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans and the adjacent areas of the Arctic Ocean. In the northeast Atlantic its range extends from Portugal in the south to Spitzbergen in the north and includes the Baltic. Two subspecies, not easily separable in the field, breed in our area, the dark-mantled nominate race aalge occurs in most of Europe including Scotland and possibly northern England, and the smaller, much browner mantled albionis occurs in England, Wales, Ireland, Helgoland, France and Iberia. A bridled morph, with a striking white eye-ring and spectacle occurs in the Atlantic but not in the Pacific. The frequency of this morph increases with latitude from less than 1% in southern Britain and southern Ireland to 20-25% in Shetland. In this shot 4 out of 29 are bridled so we are getting quite far up in the range.

Common Guillemots breed at most places around the coasts of Britain and Ireland where there is suitable cliff habitat. Guillemots are extremely gregarious, colonial breeding is the norm and colonies can contain many tens of thousands of individuals. Breeding areas are situated where the birds are safe from mammalian predators such as foxes, feral cats, and mink. This means that on the mainland, they are confined to sheer cliffs or in among boulders at the bases of cliffs where access is difficult even from the sea. On islands, cliffs and the tops of large stacks are preferred but where such habitat is absent guillemots breed among rocks or even on flat open ground. No nest is built, the single relatively large egg being incubated on the bare rock, guano or soil on a wide variety of breeding sites including large flat, broad ledges where birds are crowded together at average densities of about 20 pairs/m2, narrow ledges, isolated sites that are little more than toeholds, grassy banks, on top of, or under, boulders and elsewhere, even under bushes. Breeding success is highest where birds breed at high density or where sites are well protected from predators.

Numbers of Common Guillemots breeding in Britain and Ireland have increased substantially during the last 30 years, and the increase continued up to Seabird 2000, albeit at a reduced rate.

marioana, fartash, uleko, SelenE, Argus, garyfudge, nglen, gypsygirl58, Adanac, Alex99, delic, pablominto has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi James.
Such a great looking bunch! Great composition and DOF. You sure get to see some wonderful wildlife, and capture them equally as wonderfully. Very well done.
Best regards, Steve.

Hello James
Very intersting shot of these Common Guillemots,Perfect moment to shoot,
Great composition,focusing and lighting.
Superb shot,friend.

Good Luck

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-07-04 7:23]

Hello James,
This is a superb capture of the beautiful Guillemots all in a row on the rocky shelf. Great sharpness and the colours of the birds stand out beautifully against the dark rock.
This is a bird I'd love to see!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-07-04 7:57]

Hi James,
You got a good result considering the rocking boat. I liked your POV and the composition. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-07-04 9:52]

Hello James,
Great capture of a group of Common Guillemots, three of them bridled. Considering the adverse conditions you describe, this is sharp and well lit with excellent blurred BG sharp enough to show the habitat.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

This is great James. Looks like they're all waiting for something!
Probably the sun ;-)

Great composition and framing.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-07-04 12:11]

Hi James . Glad you had a good time away in Scotland. A good shot of the Guillemots all lined up.good colour and detail, with the green on the rocks to break up the grey.well done for getting this from a boat.great notes again. very well done.TFS.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-07-04 20:35]

Hello James

Looks like a confused bunch.Excellent focus and sharpness.The shot is well composed with very good lighting and colours.TFS


Hi James,
Wonderful image! Great composition and POV and DOF. Excellent sharpness and they stand out really well on the rock! Well done and TFS
Cheers Tina :-)

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-07-05 20:08]

Hi James,
Lovely composition show us this nice colony of cliff painters, superbly done James with thier black eyes showing well on the black plummage.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-07-07 22:30]

Hi James.
What a nice scene you have pictured and you have done it with great skillfulness. I like the light range and colour reproduction of all colour palette from white up to dark colour tones. Composition is superb as well as the POV. I like two plans: crisp sharp FG and blurred a bit impressive BG. Excellent job and my best regards.

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-07-11 2:28]

Hi James,
A fine gathering presented with a good composition. Overcast weather is perfect for such photography as long as it's short of a downpour. Cheers,

Hi James,
I really like the DOF in this photo. It made the rock in the FG perfectly blurry without loosing its identity. The rock also gave great contrast and made the birds stick out perfectly. It is funny to see the different poses of these Guillemots.
I am impressed about the composition and sharpness considering the conditions you were in.

Hello James,
The lovely birds are posing so nicely, displaying their beautiful white feather coats!
Excellent DOF and a welkl composed presentation!
Pablo -

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