Archive for the ‘Clipperton Island’ Category

Masked Booby with Egg – Clipperton Island   22 comments


Masked Booby with Egg – Clipperton Island

Almost 1,000 miles from anywhere lies the French coral atoll known as Clipperton Island.  Although it is not inhabited by humans it is full of life. Frigate birds, booby birds, and land crabs make up the islands fauna and a few palm trees are the only shade.  You could walk around the entire island in a couple of hours, but there is so much to see you could spend that same two hours only walking a few hundred yards.   This particular masked booby was returning to her egg and chick in the foreground after switching with its mate to forage.  Masked boobies usually lay two eggs but only the strongest will survive.  This is usually the first hatched (bird to the left) which will out-compete the younger bird for food and space under its parents.  Since they nest right on the coral rubble, the adult bird must shade the young through the hot sections of the day or they will die very quickly.  On a side note, I think the little chick looks a lot like Gonzo from the muppets!

Wake Jumpers – Clipperton Island, Pacific Ocean   3 comments

Rain is a Coming

It is supposed to rain today so in San Diego terms that means it will be cloudy.  Since we don’t get weather very often it should be a good chance to take some interesting photos.  This is usually a good time to photograph familiar subjects such as tourist attractions and beaches because you are much more likely to get a unique image when compared to a cloudless chamber of commerce day.

Wake Jumpers – Clipperton Island, Pacific Ocean

Nothing says joy better than a leaping dolphin. Okay maybe six leaping dolphins! Having been a marine mammal biologist for ten years it is very easy to spot the rookie photographers on a whale watching boat.  They all run to the bow and shoot directly down upon the dolphins below riding the bow wake.  Although this can get you very close to the animals it seldom yields the best photographs.  For this you need to place yourself about a quarter of the way down the rail from the bow looking out with your back to the sun.  This allows you plenty of elbow room and the perfect angle to shoot dolphins headed toward the bow as well as the ones playing in the quarter wake.

These bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were bow riding for several minutes and then played in the quarter wake for about thirty seconds during which they went crazy jumping and leaping their brains out.  A good captain will sail through the dolphin pod several times, so find the side with the best light and just wait until the animals come to you.  When they do swim to your side shoot insane amounts of photos.  You can always edit out the butt and splash shots at home. Anticipate when they are going to leap by following them in your view finder underwater.  Just before they do start firing and you will get them coming out of the water.  Don’t worry this takes lots of practice, but “You Can Doooooo It!”

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