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A Very Rare Visitor

A Very Rare Visitor
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: 2008-12-07
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, Workshop
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite bird in-flight photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-07 7:25
Viewed: 3386
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Ivory Gull (Phagophila eburnea)
Swedish name: Ismċs

This is the first time that I have seen and photographed this species of gull that is a very rare visitor to Sweden.

Its presence was announced both on the Swedish bird observation site and on the Swedish national news.

The Ivory Gull is a totally arctic polar gull, breeding in the circumpolar regions around the North Pole. It spends winter a little further south to areas like N. Iceland but sometimes juveniles like this one move further south. In Sweden it has been recorded about 20 times in the last 200 years and this is the first record from Scania.

Hordes of birdwatchers flocked to the small fishing port of Simrishamn, some travelling some distance, even from Denmark. Today I had to travel only 50 km (about 30 miles) and was lucky to have to take several shots of it as it flew round one of the fish cold storage buildings where it was attracted by small herrings thrown out to keep it in the area for a while. I was also lucky to arrive in sunshine when it was cloudy and grey most of the time.

I took this at a distance of about 10 meters (33 ft) as it circled round. This is a juvenile, told by the black spots on the wing and the somewhat ‘dirty’ looking greyness of the face. As an adult it is pure white with just black feet and a pale bill.

There is another shot of this rarity in the WORKSOP

After moderate cropping and size reduction the image was sharpened. This is the third time it is shown on TN and the first time as a juvenile.

nglen, jconceicao, uleko, jaycee, Heaven, bullybeef53, eqshannon, SelenE, PeterZ, meo, siggi, ellis49, Alex99, ferranjlloret, eng55, CeltickRanger, boreocypriensis, pekkavalo1, Jamesp, flashpoint, albert, anel, zulfu, efsus, matatur, Pearl, maurydv, rcrick, sandpiper2, Adanac, sranjan, rousettus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ellis49: Tack!Argus 1 12-07 10:09
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-07 7:29]

Hi Ivan. Lucky you for seeing this rare bird but thanks for sharing it with use . You were able to get a good inflight shot with the blue sky to show it of. The dark tips to the end of the feathers show up well. well done TFS.

Hi Ivan,

Great capture.
Good timing with excellent details.
Focus,light and colours are splendid.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-07 7:44]

Hi Neigbor,

It certainly was worth a 30 mile ride to see this magnificent gull and to get such great pictures. It sounds like all of Sweden was excited about its presence. A beautiful in-flight capture of a beautiful bird. Perfect white and I love the black tips and wing markings. The workshop is wonderful showing those amazing raised wings. Where else but on TN would we all get to see such a rarity? Thank you for this.


Hi Ivan!

Congratulations for this outstanding and rare picture! You were lucky to be able to take a picture of this magnificent bird, and, moreover, you realized a perfect image: sharpness, clarity and lighting are superb. I like the notes with the story of this bird very much. It's amazing that you could see it and I'm glad for you... and for the members of TN!

Kind regards


We had one here last year,quite a few photos taken by all.
It looks beautiful in flight!!

You are quite the man of firsts...and that they announced it on TV, its appearance must certainly show the true rarity. 30km is a pittance to get a chance as you did. Congratulations on this fine image Ivan...What a nice post for this Sunday!

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-12-07 8:13]

Hi Ivan,
You are very lucky to see this. Exposure is very well controlled and the bird looks great. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-07 8:49]

Hello Ivan,
What a big surprise! I've never seen this beauty. The ivory white feathers are splendid. The contrasts against the blue sky are wonderful. Very nice with the dark spots. Excellent sharpness and composition. The WS also is beautiful.

Hi Ivan,
so you manage to get a shot form this rare visitor, it was on TV last night. Always great to get a new one.
Very nice inflight shot, well exposed with fine details.
Well done, mf.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-07 8:54]

Hello Ivan,
Excellent in flight composition.Very sharp details and excellent colors.That BG blue and color is just lovely
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-07 9:31]

Hi Ivan.
I have never met this species. Upper POV is very impressive as well as posture of the bird and its wingspread. Exposure of the plumage is spot on and composition of the shot I blameless. WS is very attractive too. Nice presentation of a rare species. My kind regards and TFS.

Hi Ivan,
Very interesting species, excellent composition, good shot!

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-07 12:36]

Hi Ivan,
Very nice capture.I liked POV,framing,moment you caught a lot.
Thanks for posting.

hello Ivan

WOW ! a very beautiful in-flight shot of the Ivory Gull,
very fine POV and framing, i love the way the wings are open
and we can see it from top, i also love that shadow of his left side,
superb focus, excellent sharpness and details, TFS


Ciao Ivan, fantastic capture of rare bird in superb fly, great diagonal composition with fine details and splendid sharpness, I like a lot, ciao Silvio

Hola Ivan, gracias por tu amable comentario y tu intento de ayuda a la ID de mi insecto.

Veo que tu cámara nunca descansa, además trabaja de maravilla siempre. Me doy cuenta que las lentes de Canon dan muy buenos resultados por lo que observo en fotografías de diferentes miembros de tk. Tú además las sabes utilizar bien :-))

Tu toma tiene dificultad por el movimiento, distancia y color del ave, pero has sabido dominar la situación. Destacaría el casi perfecto encuadre.

Un saludo: Josep Ignasi.

Hello Ivan Dostum,

A fine capture of this beautiful Ivory Gull in-flight with wonderful details, sharpness, nice DOF/POV and composition.
TFS and cheers,


Hi Ivan,
Great in-flight shot of this rare Ivory Gull. Good POV and composition, sharp details, the patterns on the back are showing clearly, good lighting.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-12-07 15:31]

Hello Ivan

I was not sure what this was until I opened the thumbnail - as you say a very rare visitor as these are birds of the high arctic. I have only seen the adults. Excellent pose and frozen action - great work. I think there are at least 3 other shots with them in though - I posted one and two of my polar bear shots show them :)


hello Ivan!
beautiful capture in flight....
interesting species these ivory gull
with a splendid feathers..you are lucky man!
greetings sERGIO

Hello Ivan,
What a beautiful capture of this ivory gull in flight.
Composition is wonderful and you've got great detail in the plumage.
Its good to see this rare gull here on TN again, and a juvenile this time.
Great contribution.

Hello Ivan
very good capture with frozen action and very good details of the plumage
TFS this beauty

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-12-08 4:55]

hello Ivan,
This is a really beautiful and special Gull with fine black patterns on the white wings. You have been lucky to see it and to have the opportunity to make such a beautiful picture. I don't think that they will come down south to us..
Thanks for this interesting posting

Hi Argus,
This is an excellent inflight shot of a rare bird. It is great to be part of such rare sightings and greater to photograph them. TFS this image with us.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-12-08 7:33]

Hello Ivan, superb in-flight shot of this rarely seen bird.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-12-08 7:47]

Merhaba Ivan!
Böyle masmavi güneşli bir günde, üzerinde harika siyah noktalı desenler olan bir kuşun uçarken çekilmiş, çok başarılı bir karesini sunmuşsun. Sol göz gölgede kalmasına rağmen rahatlıkla farkediliyor. Emeğine sağlık dostum. Yeni karelerde görüşmek dileği ile.
Best regards.


And surely a very majestic one Ivan, I'm glad indeed that you were visited by this beauty, so we can behold its fine in-flight form and spread-out flight feathers from a unique dorsolateral vantage point. TFS this perfect composition my friend.

  • Great 
  • Pearl Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 25 N: 76] (321)
  • [2008-12-08 9:19]

Hello Ivan,

A loely shot of this bird, in flght so marvalous and majestic it loks. Good focusing, sharpness and light. Lovely composition and POV. The details are good and nice notes. TFS.


Ciao Ivan,
complimenti per questa splendida rarità catturata con ottima definizione in una meravigliosa composizione che evidenzia bene le caratteristiche di questo gabbiano in una spettacolare postura di volo.

Hi Ivan,

Many thanks for the feedback its really appreciated, it is nice to be home and as much as I love to travel you just can't beat your own bed.

What a great capture, an excellent in-flight shot of this rare bird. I love the POV it looks like you were up their as well, the detail and the markings are just stunning, perfect exposure, outstanding camerawork.

Cheers Rick :)

Hi Ivan

Good shot of this rare visitor. I can just see the twitchers flocking to this small port and ticking this rare one off their list.
Good in-flight shot. TFS.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-12-09 8:06]

Hello Ivan,
What a beauty here Ivan and your camera work is great on this inflight giving us a fantastic view of this rare gull. The markings are quite similar to a male Snowy Owl. Thank you for this fine image.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-09 13:34]

Hi Ivan,
what a great shot of this rarity!
Brilliant in-flight pose.
Superb sharpness.
Great composition.
Spot-on focusing.

Well done,

Dear Ivan,
What a grand photograph of Ivory seagull! I appreciate its every detail POV & sharpness. TFS.

merhaba Ivan
I came back newly from homeland and I can visit your last posts. All of them great. This is also great shot with focus, POV and composition. It is also great its rarity. You are lucky to see it and captured. I think I see this species first time. I dont remember that even I saw it on internet or books. Thanks for sharing, best wishes my friend

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