Iceland in 16 Days: Day 3-4, South Region, Jökulsárlón Arctic Tern Nesting Site

Shades of Alfred Hitchcock

Arctic terns do not like their nesting grounds intruded upon. If you walk near the nesting site, you will be bombarded by as many as 50 birds, swarming all around you. They will even peck at your head.

Apologies offered for failure to capture such an image. A video would have been nice.

I shot these images from our rental car. There is a road at the lagoon that goes through the nesting site.

jokulsarlon-arctic-tern-south-iceland-74

jokulsarlon-arctic-tern-south-iceland-77

All of the the images, including the feature image were taken with my Canon 100-400 MM F 4.5-5.6 L lens. From my car, the nesting site was right out the window. I used a focal length of about 150MM, ISO 1000. The shutter speed ranged 1/1600 to 1/2000 of a second at F/6.3.

What would I do different next time?

Other than get a video of birds pecking at my head, I would increase the ISO to 2000 or higher and set the Fstop at F/8 or F/11. I threw away many images because depth of field was insufficient or my focus was slightly off.

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Next up: Eider Ducks at the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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