Greg Gard: Blog http://www.greggard.com/blog en-us (C) Greg Gard info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:54:00 GMT Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:54:00 GMT Singing Golden-winged Warbler - New York http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/singing-golden-winged-warbler-new-york After seeing my first Golden-winged Warbler this past Summer in New York state, I was amazed how beautiful these birds are, and how "friendly" they can be. I'm hooked and plan to photograph them each year. 

Here is a photograph of a singing adult male Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera):

Endangered Golden-winged Warbler singing at the Sterling Forest, Orange County, New York bird photography Canon EOS 1Dx 600mm IS f/4 mark II + 1.4x extenderGolden-winged WarblerGolden-winged Warbler - Vermivora chrysoptera

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

Golden-winged Warblers are small songbirds with fairly slim bodies and short tails. They have a thin, straight bill that is sharply pointed. Adult males are silvery gray with a strong black-and-white face pattern, yellow crown, and large yellow patches on the wings. Females are similar but lack the male’s black mask and bib. Hybrids with the Blue-winged Warbler can produce a mostly light gray form (“Brewster’s”) or a mostly golden form (“Lawrence’s”). Golden-winged Warblers forage among the leaves and branch tips of their low, shrubby habitat. Males sing their loud, buzzy song over and over again from the tops of shrubs during early summer. Golden-winged Warblers breed in tangled, shrubby habitats such as regenerating clearcuts, wet thickets, and tamarack bogs. They often move into nearby woodland when the young have fledged. They spend winters in open woodlands and shade-coffee plantations of Central and South America. - CornellLab

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird Photography warbler http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/singing-golden-winged-warbler-new-york Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:51:44 GMT
There goes a pellet - Short-eared Owl, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/there-goes-a-pellet-short-eared-owl-nj While walking the trails at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge last Winter, I noticed numerous "mystery" holes melted in perfectly smooth snow.

Pellet hole in the snow

With no other tracks around it, I couldn't figure out what it was...

Couple hours later, I took this photograph of a Short-eared Owl ejecting a pellet in midair and my puzzle of the day was solved :)

Short-eared Owl throwing up a pellet in mid air - Wallkill River NWR, NJ/NY boundary bird photography Canon EOS 1Dx 600mm IS f/4 mark II 1.4x teleconverterShort-eared OwlShort-eared Owl - Asio flammeus Wallkill River NWR, Liberty Marsh, New Jersey / New York boundary

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

Owls are birds of prey, which means they hunt and eat small animals like mice. Owls can’t chew, though. They have to tear their prey into smaller pieces with their beaks and talons (claws) before they swallow them. One part of the owl’s stomach is called the proventriculus, or glandular stomach. That’s the part of the stomach that digests the parts of the prey the owl uses as food. The parts of the prey that the owl can’t digest, like bones, teeth, and fur, stay in the owl’s gizzard, or muscular stomach. An owl pellet is the compressed (smooshed together) bones, teeth and fur of its prey. The owl regurgitates the pellet. It’s not like throwing up, though. The owl does this regularly, and the pellet just drops out of its beak.

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey owl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/there-goes-a-pellet-short-eared-owl-nj Tue, 28 Oct 2014 01:26:10 GMT
Willet at Cape May Point State Park, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/willet-at-cape-may-point-state-park-nj Willet at the edge of the of the Bunker Pond in Cape May Point State Park, New Jersey:

Willet at the edge of the Bunker Pond at Cape May Point State Park, New Jersey bird and wildlife photography, Canon EOS 1Dx 600mm IS f/4  1.4x extenderWilletWillet - Tringa semipalmata Cape May, New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography shorebird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/willet-at-cape-may-point-state-park-nj Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Peregrine Falcon - Palisades, New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/peregrine-falcon-palisades-nj Close look at the local adult female Peregrine Falcon flying at the eye level at the State Line Lookout, Palisades Interstate Park, Bergen County, New Jersey:

Adult female Peregrine Falcon flying by over the Hudson River in the Palisades, Bergen County, NJ bird and wildlife photography - Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS IIPeregrine Falcon in-flightAdult Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus Northern New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

I'm often being asked how do I get shots of these falcons at such a close distance. I always give the honest answer: patience, persistence, knowledge of the subject and dose of luck… 

 

 

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/peregrine-falcon-palisades-nj Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:26:23 GMT
Prairie Warbler - Garret Mountain, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/Yellow-Warbler-Garret-Mountain-NJ Prairie Warbler perched on the blossoming tree during spring migration at the Garret Mountain Reservation in Woodland Park, New Jersey:

Prairie Warbler with blossoming flowers in the background photographed during spring migration at the Garret Mountain Reservation, Woodland Park, New Jersey bird photography Canon EOS 1Dx 600mm IS f/4Prairie WarblerPrairie Warbler - Dendroica petechia Garret Mountain Reservation, Woodland Park, New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography spring migration warbler http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/Yellow-Warbler-Garret-Mountain-NJ Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Adult Barn Owl - Northern New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/adult-barn-owl---northern-new-jersey Adult Barn Owl resting on the ground and searching for prey:

Adult Barn Owl sitting low in the ground at the Wallkill River NWR, NJ bird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS 1.4x extenderAdult Barn OwlBarn Owl - Tyto alba Northern New Jersey

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I photographed this owl at the Wallkill River NWR, Liberty Marsh, New Jersey / New York boundary this past Winter.

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey owl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/adult-barn-owl---northern-new-jersey Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Juvenile Peregrine Falcon - New jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/juvenile-peregrine-falcon-new-jersey Fledgling Peregrine Falcon perched on the edge of the Palisades Cliffs in Bergen County, New Jersey:

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon perched on the edge of the cliff at the Palisades, NJ wildlife photography Canon EOS 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS IIPeregrine FalconJuvenile Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrines New Jersey Palisades, Bergen County, New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/juvenile-peregrine-falcon-new-jersey Fri, 10 Oct 2014 10:35:00 GMT
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron in-flight - Southern New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/juvenile-black-crowned-night-heron-in-flight-snj Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron showing its underwing feathers while flying by at the rookery in Southern New Jersey:

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron showing its underwing feather in flight, Southern New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx  600mm IS f/4 IS mark IIJuvenile Black-crowned Night HeronBlack-crowned Night Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax Southern New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography wading http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/juvenile-black-crowned-night-heron-in-flight-snj Wed, 08 Oct 2014 01:04:57 GMT
Peregrine Falcon looking straight up - NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/peregrine-falcon-looking-straight-up-nj-raptor This year, I had an excellent opportunity to observe multiple families of birds of prey here in Northern New Jersey. All of them were located in a great distance which provided excellent opportunity to observe their daily behavior. Birds definitely saw all of us but they didn't feel threatened and they kept with their daily routine of hunting and carrying for their young ones. To my surprise, I was (at least, I felt this way :) ) accepted by two families of Peregrine Falcons. Very often, adults perched near me, allowing for detailed portraits. Like this adult female Peregrine Falcon at the Northern New Jersey eyrie:

Perched adult female peregrine falcon looking straight up into the camera, Northern New Jersey bird photography - Canon 1Dx 600mm IS mark IIPeregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus Northern New Jersey

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They sat for prolonged time on the branches, observing their territory and looking for the next meal, looking at my direction only when the sound of my camera shutter broke the silence...

Very soon, I will be posting more photographs from this season, in the meantime, if you are interest, you can checkout my falcon gallery by following this link: http://www.greggard.com/falcons

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/10/peregrine-falcon-looking-straight-up-nj-raptor Fri, 03 Oct 2014 00:57:56 GMT
Adult Short-eared Owl - Wallkill River NWR http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/adult-short-eared-owl-wallkill-river-nwr Adult Short-eared Owl sitting low on the ground and looking into the camera with its big, yellow eyes:

Short-eared Owl sitting low on the ground and looking into the camera at Liberty Marsh, Wallkill River NWR Nj / NY bird photography Canon EOS 1Dx + 600mm f/4 IS II + 1.4x III extenderShort-eared OwlShort-eared Owl - Asio flammeus Wallkill River NWR, Liberty Marsh, New Jersey / New York boundary

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

I photographed this owl at the Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge on New Jersey / New York border, this past winter.

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ NY Photography bird of prey owl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/adult-short-eared-owl-wallkill-river-nwr Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:25:11 GMT
Juvenile Peregrine Falcon - New York Palisades http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/juvenile-peregrine-falcon-new-york-palisades i photographed this juvenile male Peregrine Falcon in the New York's part of Palisades this past spring:

Juvenile male Peregrine Falcon flying straight into the camera - New York bird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS mark IIJuvenile male Peregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus New York Palisades

- for more detailed view please click on the image -

 

After observing this particular family of falcons for quite some time, I estimate this was his 3rd day of flying. I was impressed with his maneuvers. Later in the season, I had a chance to observe two more nests and in both of them fledglings weren't this skillful.

More photographs coming soon, in the meantime you can always visit my falcon gallery, here: http://www.greggard.com/falcons

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/juvenile-peregrine-falcon-new-york-palisades Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:35:00 GMT
Yellow-crowned Night Heron - Ocean City, New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/yellow-crowned-night-heron-ocean-city-nj Just as temporary break from the falcon photographs, here is an adult Yellow-crowned Night Heron, standing on one leg and looking straight into the camera, photographed at the heron rookery in Ocean City, New Jersey this Summer:

Yellow-crowned Night Heron perched on the branch, looking straight into the camera - Southern New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS mark II + 1.4x extenderYellow-crowned Night HeronYellow-crowned Night Heron - Nyctanassa violate Southern New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography wading http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/yellow-crowned-night-heron-ocean-city-nj Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:37:53 GMT
Perched Peregrine Falcon - Palisades Cliffs, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/perched-peregrine-falcon-palisades-cliffs-nj Adult male Peregrine Falcon perched between the branches at the Palisades Cliffs, Northern New Jersey:

Adult male Peregrine Falcon perched between the branches looking straight into the camera - New Jersey bird photography Canon EOS 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS IIMale Peregrine Falcon perched on the branchPeregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus Northern New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/perched-peregrine-falcon-palisades-cliffs-nj Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:35:00 GMT
Flyby - Peregrine Falcon http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/flyby-peregrine-falcon-nnj Adult Peregrine Falcon flying by at the State Line Lookout in the Palisades Interstate Park, Bergen County, New Jersey:

Peregrine Falcon flying by - Palisades Cliffs, Northern New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS IIPeregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus Northern New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

If you like Peregrine Falcons, make sure to check-in regularly. I had a fantastic season here in the tri-state area and I'm hoping to post photographs of these amazing birds of prey, on the weekly basis. See you soon!

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/9/flyby-peregrine-falcon-nnj Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:59:07 GMT
Laysan Albatross - Kilauea Point NWR, Hawaii http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/laysan-albatross-kilauea-point-nwr-hawaii Close-up of a Laysan Albatross in-flight at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai, Hawaii:

Laysan Albatross flying in at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai, Hawaii - Canon 7D 400mm 5.6Laysan Albatross Laysan Albatross - Phoebastria immutabilis Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai, Hawaii

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During my visit to Kilauea Point Lighthouse NWR last winter, I was amazed how close these beautiful birds fly by. Very often I had hard time to fit them in the frame :)  

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 400mm 7D Bird Hawaii Photography in-flight http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/laysan-albatross-kilauea-point-nwr-hawaii Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:09:17 GMT
Osprey in the nest - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/osprey-in-the-nest-new-jersey Adult Osprey, a.k.a. Fish Hawk, sitting at the nest with two chicks:

Osprey in the nest with two chick looking straight into the camera, bird photography NJ, Canon 5D III + 600mm IS f/4 II + 1.4x extenderOsprey in the nestOsprey - Pandion haliaetus Southern New Jersey

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I photographed this nest in Southern New Jersey.

Interesting facts:

- Ospreys are unusual among hawks in possessing a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp with two toes in front and two behind. Barbed pads on the soles of the birds' feet help them grip slippery fish. When flying with prey, an Osprey lines up its catch head first for less wind resistance.

- Ospreys are excellent anglers. Over several studies, Ospreys caught fish on at least 1 in every 4 dives, with success rates sometimes as high as 70 percent. The average time they spent hunting before making a catch was about 12 minutes.

- The Osprey readily builds its nest on manmade structures, such as telephone poles, channel markers, duck blinds, and nest platforms designed especially for it. Such platforms have become an important tool in reestablishing Ospreys in areas where they had disappeared. In some areas nests are placed almost exclusively on artificial structures.

- The oldest known Osprey was 25 years, 2 months old.

source: Cornell Lab

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 5D 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/osprey-in-the-nest-new-jersey Fri, 15 Aug 2014 01:22:09 GMT
Short-eared Owl - Wallkill River NWR, NY http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/short-eared-owl-wallkill-river-nwr-ny Short-eared Owl photographed at the Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey / New York boundary:

Perched adult Short-eared Owl looking straight into the camera, NJ / NY bird photography - Canon 1Dx 600mm IS II 2x extenderShort-eared OwlShort-eared Owl - Asio flammeus Wallkill River NWR, Liberty Marsh, New Jersey / New York boundary - for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ NY Photography bird of prey owl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/short-eared-owl-wallkill-river-nwr-ny Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:46:30 GMT
Female Northern Harrier hunting - Meadowlands, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/female-northern-harrier-hunting-meadowlands-nj I took this photograph of a hunting female Northern Harrier at the Dekorte Park, Lyndhurst, NJ:

Female Northern Harrier hunting over the landfill at the Meadowlands New Jersey bird photography - Canon 1Dx 600mm iS f/4 II + 1.4x extender IIINorthern HarrierNorthern Harrier - Circus cyaneus Richard W. DeKorte Park - Lyndhurst, NJ

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey meadowlands http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/8/female-northern-harrier-hunting-meadowlands-nj Mon, 04 Aug 2014 00:19:00 GMT
Morning bath in the ocean - Point Lookout, NY http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/7/morning-bath-black-skimmer-nickerson-beach-ny Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York is famous for seeing up close nesting shorebirds. First to arrive are American Oystercatchers which raise their young in early June. Later in the month, it is turn for the most numerous colony, Common Terns. Black Skimmers are the last ones to have chicks, late July / throughout the August. But do not stop there. There are also great bird photography opportunities happening in the ocean, terns diving for fish, skimmers bathing in the ocean, etc.

Here is one of my favorite shorebirds, Black Skimmer, taking a morning bath in the ocean:

Black Skimmer taking a bath in Atlantic Ocean at the Nickerson Beach, New York bird photography Canon 1Dx, 600mm f/4 IS lens and 1.4x teleconverterBlack Skimmer taking a bath in the oceanBlack Skimmer - Rynchops niger Nickerson Beach, Point Lookout, Long Island, New York

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Since Nickerson Beach provides hours of fun, in addition to sunscreen, remember to wear sun protective clothing (long sleeve shirt, pants, hat), sunglasses and bring plenty of water. 

The best buy I've made couple of years ago, for my Summer adventures, was this insulated stainless steel water bottle!

Simply things put it is a thermos. If you pour your drink cold and add couple cubes of ice, this bottle will keep your drink cold for hours. And believe me, I had this bottle laying in the sand in direct sunlight for hours. Bottle was hot to the touch but the drink? COLD!!! It is perfect for hikes as well.  

Nothing stops you from using this bottle during colder months to keep your hot drinks warm ;) These bottles come in variety of colors, sizes and plenty accessories. Just see for yourself: Hydro Flask. Highly recommended! 

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebird tip http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/7/morning-bath-black-skimmer-nickerson-beach-ny Thu, 31 Jul 2014 01:10:31 GMT
Blue-winged Warbler, Sterling Forest, New York http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/7/blue-winged-warbler-sterling-forest-new-york Singing Blue-winged Warbler photographed in Sterling Forest, Orange County, New York:

Blue-winged Warbler singing photographed in Sterling Forest, Tuxedo Park, New York bird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS II 1.4x extenderBlue-winged WarblerBlue-winged Warbler - Vermivora cyanoptera - Tuxedo Park, New York

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The Blue-winged Warbler is a small warbler at 11.4–12.7 cm (4.5–5.0 in) long, with a wingspan of 17–19.5 cm (6.7–7.7 in). The breeding plumage of the male consists of a bright yellow head, breast and underparts. There is no streaking of the underparts of the bird. It has a narrow black line though the eyes and light blueish gray with two white wing-bars, which are diagnostic field marks. The female is duller overall with less yellow on the crown. Immatures are olive green with similar wings to the adults.
This species forms two distinctive hybrids with Golden-winged Warbler where their ranges overlap in the Great Lakes and New England area. The more common and genetically dominant Brewster's Warbler is gray above and whitish (male) or yellow (female) below. It has a black eye stripe and two white wing bars. The rarer recessive Lawrence's Warbler has a male plumage which is green and yellow above and yellow below, with white wing bars and the same face pattern as male Golden-winged. The female is gray above and whitish below with two yellow wing bars and the same face pattern as female Golden-winged. - Wikipedia
 
 

Here is a link to the highly recommended birding book that helped me a lot during this past Spring migration, The Warbler Guide:

 

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography warbler http://www.greggard.com/blog/2014/7/blue-winged-warbler-sterling-forest-new-york Fri, 25 Jul 2014 01:20:25 GMT