coburg island

Bird Cliffs Alight


Coburg island, Canadian Arctic These steep cliffs are completely inaccessible for any person on foot and out of reach for any land dwelling animals. For this reason these cliffs make the perfect place for a bird to build a home. Free from the prying eyes and jaws of Arctic fox, Polar bears and anything that could take home an egg as a prize, birds have been nesting in places like this for millions of years. Hundreds of thousands of birds swarm the cliffs, changing the colour of the rock with their guano and filling the air with their calls.

Photographic Details: Waiting for a glimpse of sun to come out of the clouds I wanted the cliffs to be highlighted by the light. The rare sight of fog on the cliffs adds enormous amounts of texture and depth to the already dramatic scene. Look closely at the image you will see white dots peppering the image, as the sun lit birds show up against the darker shadowy cliffs.

1/250s f/6.3 ISO50 135mm

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Coburg island incognito


Coburg island, Canadian Arctic The arctic can be one of the most desolate environments. The landscapes have a way of amplifying loneliness and introspection while still keeping you in awe of the harsh reality of this cold northern desert.

The cool arctic doesn’t hold much moisture, therefore it doesn’t snow very often, giving many places in the north the same amount of precipitation of the sahara desert. So when the fog rolls in I was sure to relish this sight as this dramatic island is shrouded in a blanked of mist.

These cliffs are homes to many species of birds who depend on the steepness and hostility of these cliffs to protect their eggs from land dwelling predators. Many birds lay pear shaped eggs ensuring that if an egg was to roll, it would roll back into the nest instead of the cliff. Being one of the most important sites in the arctic it’s home to over 220,000 pairs of nesting birds.

Photographic Details: Taken in the early morning it was somewhat dim out, I had to use a relatively low shutterspeed of 1/160th of a second, handheld from a ship that was bobbing in the ocean, where a tripod wouldn’t be much of an aid. Canon 5D 1/160s f/7.1 ISO100 100mm


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