Matinicus Island Christmas Bird Count
January 5, 2009

After several cancellations mostly due to high winds or blizzard conditions, I joined Dr. Jeff Wells and Travis Barrett, Outdoors Writer for the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, for the Matinicus Island Christmas Bird Count in early January 2009. It was a snowy, slow ride to Owls Head to catch the flight over and an especially dim and overcast day - poor conditions for photography - even worse I thought than the gray day expereinced last year at this time. After learning what a brutal trek this can be from the 2008 adventure, this year I arrived on Matinicus with a handheld system only. These images were taken with a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III camera and EF 400mm f/5.6L lens although a few from the aircraft were taken with a 70~300 DO IS lens. We recorded thirty-eight species for the day (two more than last year) and all returned sore and tired. Photographically the best chance of obtaining better images would have involved a tripod, more focal length and a flash with extender. All were exposed at high ISO settings - 1000, 1600 or 3200, to allow handholding the lens. Below is a sampling of images from the day in the exposure order off the camera...

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image

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