Saturday, 20 April 2013

Arctic Tern video

Thursday's first-ever Arctic Tern on my Alexandra Park patch provided an impromptu opportunity to test video mode on Canon's SX40 HS camera. I don't shoot video often but when I do it is usually with a tripod-mounted Canon EOS 7D and prime telephoto lens. Although the SX40 HS boasts 1080p HD video, clearly the results from a handheld bridge camera will be different - though, in the event, I think acceptable. I edited three segments together for this sequence using YouTube's basic online video editor, which as far as I can see unfortunately doesn't allow any frame-cropping; to compensate for the small image of the tern, play it back in full-screen mode, and at high resolution. By way of more sample footage, the Green Woodpecker footage below was shot with the same camera at the same location the following day, and also edited online.


  1. I think I saw two Arctic terns by Hornsey waterworks this morning - can that be right? Shouldn't they be much further south at this time of year?

  2. Hi Nina, you're right to say Arctic Terns should be much further south by now - somewhere off West Africa probably - so I wonder whether the birds you saw could perhaps have been Black-headed Gulls?

    1. They were in flight and I couldn't see the colour of their heads, but they weren't gulls - the most noticeable thing was their very long narrow tails. At first I thought they might be some kind of parrot, actually, but they were pale grey. Their cry was a bit gull-like but higher/sharper.

    2. Hi Nina, it's quite possible that if you initially thought they were parrots, they may have been just that. Ring-necked Parakeets can be seen in the area, though their apple-green plumage makes it unlikely that species was involved; perhaps they were another kind of escaped cagebird



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