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Albatrosses, fulmars, shearwaters, storm petrels…

During the trip to Antarctica I was able to photograph several species of albatrosses and other birds. While shooting these beautiful, majestic birds I encountered some difficulties. The first was the Drake Passage. When crossing the strait from Ushuaia in Patagonia to Antarctica, even though we could tell that the waters were calm, it did not mean that the ship was upright and was not leaning on one side. Even when the weather was good walking on the deck was a problem. It was not easy, especially with photographic equipment, to move to the stern – the most stable place on the ship, sheltered from the wind. Additionally, working with the camera on a tripod, with the birds moving so quickly and in a small number, it was another trouble to tackle with. Albatrosses, petrels, fulmars were coming into sight every half an hour and I could make several attempts to take pictures. It was a question what lens would be the best in this situation. Once the birds were a few hundred meters away from the ship and after a while they were so close that it was impossible to capture their larger than three-meter wings. Northern giant-petrels and cape petrels happened to approach too close for me to focus well and take pictures, it was a distance of about  4 - 5 meters. It was an amazing impression made by so close contact with wild birds, hundreds of kilometers from the mainland. However, in spite of all obstacles, my patience and tenacity in trying for hours produced the desired results, at least in my opinion. I have finally taken not only the images of albatrosses but also northern giant-petrels, fulmars, cape petrels, white-chinned petrels and storm petrels. It was several hundred kilometers from the coast, and it seemed that the windier there was, the more numerous and the closer the birds were getting. It looked like that especially with albatrosses and petrels, as cape petrels were present  almost  always. Unfortunately, the likelihood of taking good pictures was inversely proportional to the weather conditions. The worse it was in terms of weather and more difficult to obtain focused photos, and to keep standing on board, the more birds and opportunities to take pictures. When the sea calmed down a bit and it was technically easier to take a good picture, the birds appeared extremely rare. On the way back the weather conditions got worse to the point that going out was forbidden because it was simply dangerous (winds reaching force 7-8 on the Beaufort scale, waves of 4-5 meter). Such a prohibition lasted for more than a day and then we could admire albatrosses through windows, with no chance to take satisfying images. After all, it was technically impossible to take pictures because of the water overflowing the deck and significant ship heeling. Moreover, the temperature a little above or below zero, with a very strong wind, in these weather conditions it was physically impossible for me to wait for the birds soaring beautifully. Of course admiring them behind the glass of the ship it is not the same as from the deck. Antarctic cold air noise and the birds emerging from time to time, all this has its own unique and memorable climate. When we can watch the precision and ease the birds are soaring with, the speed of their flight and given the conditions in which they do, we appreciate it and feel respect and admiration for them. The birds can soar with high speed a few centimeters above the waves of the ocean, taking account of the uneven and dynamic surface, disappearing now and then out of the sight of the camera, "covered" or in fact for a moment hidden behind waves. Although I wore multi-layered clothes, after an hour or two I needed to take a half-hour break and warm up.

This description will be added to all these galleries that are connected with the ship, actually ship and boat, because I photographed not only on trip to Antarctica but for a few hours also on coastal waters of Ushuaia. I did not manage to take any photos of albatrosses and other listed species when on shore, with the exception of one shot of a giant petrel. The following is a brief information about each species.

It is not an easy bird to photograph. Firstly because it was appearing not too often and secondly because in the contrasty lighting conditions only its silhouette was possible to capture. One day two birds at the same time came up, unfortunately too far for me to take a satisfactory photo. White-chinned petrels were soaring  as ideally as albatrosses and their sudden changes in flight direction so close to the ship made it difficult to take a picture in a situation when there was a chance for a picture of  better quality. White-chinned petrels weigh less than two kilograms, and their wingspan does not exceed 1.5 meters.

Australia - wykaz j.angielski

A U S T R A L I A – introduction text - A U S T R A L I A N    B U S T A R D
News gallery birds:
1.Australian bustard.2.Emu.3.Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.4.White-faced Heron.5.Brolga.6.Green Figbird.7.Zebra Finch.8.Rainbow Lorikeet.9.Pheasant Coucal.10.Australian Pelican.11.Olive-backed Sunbird.12.Yellow Honeyeater.13.Apostlebird.14.Magpie Goose.15.Superb Fairywren. 16.Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.17.Noisy Friarbird.18.Straw-necked Ibis.19.Welcome swallow.20.Black Kite.21.Gala. 22.Plumed Whistling Duck.23.Dollarbird.24.Sacred Kingfisher.25.Masked Lapwing.26.Varied triller.27.Little friarbird. 28.Black-shouldered Kite.29.Laughing Kookaburra.30.Comb-crested jacana.31.Sharp-tailed sandpiper.32.Red-whiskered Bulbul.33.Peaceful Dove. 34.Bush stone curlew.  35.White-throated honeyeater.36.Australian Brushturkey.37.Noisy miner.38.New Holland Honeyeater. 39.Crimson Finch. 40.White-breasted Woodswallow.41.Australian King Parrot.42.Australian Wood Duck.43.Great Bowerbird.44.Little Pied Cormorant.45.Black-billed Koel.46.Australian Raven.47.Spangled drongo.48.Spiny-cheeked honeyeater.49.Willie Wagtail.50.Wedge-tailed Eagle.51.Common Myna.52.Lewin's Honeyeater.53.Eastern Spinebill.54.Chestnut-breasted Munia.55.Rainbow Bee-eater. 56.Blue-winged Kookaburra.57.Common bronzewing.58.Wandering whistling duck.59.Helmeted Friarbird.60.Crested Pigeon.61.Pied Currawong.62.Brown-backed honeyeater.63.Yellow-faced honeyeater.64.Grey-headed honeyeater.65Yellow-throated miner.66.Scaly-breasted munia.67.Masked Woodswallow.68.Hardhead.69.Pale-headed Rosella.70.Blue-faced Honeyeater.71.Grey Butcherbird.72.Australian magpie.73.Black-winged Stilt.74.Whistling kite.75.Black Swan.76.Royal Spoonbill.77.Double-barred Finch.78.Broad-billed Flycatcher.79.Australian Swamphen.80.Brown Falcon.81.Pied Butcherbird.82.White-browed scrubwren.83.Silvereye.84.Rufous-throated Honeyeater.85.Black-faced Cuckooshrike. 86.Red backed fairywren.87.Garganey.88.Magpie-lark. 89.Red winged parrot.90.Zitting Cisticola.91Cotton Pygmy Goose.92.Pallid Cuckoo. 93.Australian Kestrel.94.Crimson Rosella.95.Forest Kingfisher.96.Australian coot.97.Red-browed Finch.98.Australian White Ibis.99.Australasian Darter.100.Pied oystercatcher.101.Striated Heron.103.Cattle Egret.103.Great Egret.104.Intermediate Egret.105.Sooty Oystercatche.106.Green pygmy goose.107.Brush Wattlebird.
News gallery reptiles:
1.Yellow Spotted Monitor. 2. Eastern blue-tongued lizard. 3.Jewel Rainbow. 4.Sand Monitor. 5.Nobbi Dragon. 6.Saw-shelled turtle.
News gallery mammals:
1. Dingo. 2. Flying fox. 3. Agile wallaby. 4. Eastern grey kangaroo. 5.Common wallaroo. 6.Whiptail Wallaby.
Go to the gallery: A U S T R A L I A – F A U N A

Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis
Procellaria aequinoctialis