Saturday, July 21, 2012

Puffins and Razorbills-machias Seal Island

Atlantic Puffin-Full Frame!!!

On July 9 I took the Bold Coast Charters trip to Machias Seal Island 10 miles out into the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Maine. Captain Andy Patterson made the trip very enjoyable.  It was a bright sunny day which made photography challenging-but careful study of the birds from the blind allowed the capture of pleasing images of Atlantic Puffins, razorbills and Common Muir. 

Cutler Harbor-our ride the ship Barbara Frost is the white one in center

We met in Cutler harbor at about 7 AM and were transported by Captain Andy in a skiff to the Barbara Frost.  The seas were still as we left the harbor and headed out to sea. 

Light House at mouth of Cutler Harbor

We passed a little light house as we left the harbor and headed into open sea.  

About 45 minutes latter we arrived at Machias Seal Island.  the Island is only about 15 acres and has a light house on it an individuals that study the birds.  We saw shearwaters, arctic terns, harbor seals, Atlantic Puffins, razorbills as we approached the island.

We were transferred to the ramp in the background by skiff from the Barbara Frost.  It was a pleasant ride with calm seas.  We were greeted by one of the research scientists that lives on the island.  he gave us an overview of how the viewing works and briefed us on the etiquette to be used during our stay.  The island is a nesting place for the Atlantic Puffins and so the desire is that we make the most minimal impact while we are there.

We were separated into groups of three to four individuals and we were guided to blinds such as the one pictured here.  we were allowed 1 hour in the blind.  Our viewing and photography was done out the little windows in the blind.  The Puffins would flush as we approached the blind and then about 5 minutes after entering the blind they would return to the rocks and to the roof of the blind. Short lenses were the choice!   My 300 f2.8 gave me plenty of opportunities for head shots and it was tough to get any full body shots with that lens.  I put the 70-200 on and then was able to get some shots of the whole bird.  We saw Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, and Common Muir.

Due to the time of day and the high sun I had to use care in position of the Puffin to prevent harsh shadows and blow out of the white. 

Until next time

Jim Borden


chubskulit said...

They are beautiful. Have a great weekend.

My Loyal companion Pet, come and see.

PaWingers said...

Wow, Wow,Wow! You have some incredible shots here. You put a lot of time and effort into these shots and you were rewarded for your efforts. We were also rewarded by your efforts. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I am very anxious to hopefully see and photograph moose in New Hampshire but I'm actually a bit discouraged now as I look at your moose in the wild. The Puffins are so colorful. You did very well my friend!!

Lindsjö taxar said...

Awsome pictures!! Lovely colours and the pictures of the villages at the sea is lovely....Lovely day you had

Coy Hill said...

It sounds like you had some very difficult light to work with but you made it work for you. truly beautiful shots Jim!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Sounds like a really fun excursion. The photos turned out lovely, I think!