Fall Belted Kingfisher male – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Anyone who has ever tried to photograph birds knows that it can be a frustrating endeavor and I mean the hair pulling, sailor-cursing, foot stomping kind of frustration. Bird photography isn’t easy. I say that a lot and if I had a dollar for every time I said it I would be one rich bird photographer and I’d have to rent a storage unit for all the gear I would buy with that money. Most of the time I only post the “good” outtakes of my bird photography journey, today I am switching that up and writing about those frustrations by sharing these two photos that I took yesterday which frustrated me.
The first frustration occurred when I heard a familiar rattle, the call of a Belted Kingfisher flying in to a local pond where I was sitting photographing migrating Yellow-rumped Warblers. I caught sight of the kingfisher and it was flying in to a tree nearby, I raised my lens and got ready to photograph the blue belted beauty as it landed but then the bird and I both heard a sound that startled the kingfisher and made it turn sharply in flight so that it could fly to a tree that was further away to land.
That sound? One of those screamer crotch-rocket motorcycles that the driver decided to make scream at the precise moment the kingfisher was going to land.
#[email protected]#. I cursed, yes, I cursed. I despise the sounds those crotch-rockets make and yesterday I learned to despise it even more.
When the kingfisher landed on the tree that was further away I took a few images of it through some branches in the tree that was closest to me and wouldn’t you know it… there was a very frustrating, curved branch in front of its bill. The male kingfisher didn’t listen to me when I pleaded to him to move his bill either. I grumbled.
My only hope at that time was that the kingfisher would take flight and that I’d be able to photograph him out in the open while in flight.
Belted Kingfisher in flight – In Stealth Mode – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The Belted Kingfisher did take flight and I fired my camera as I saw it begin to lift off, hoping that I would get some nice flight shots.
This… this is what I got. The Belted Kingfisher in a dynamic flight pose, wings fully extended, nice light, great eye contact and the kingfisher was calling… with out of focus branches in front of the bird. It was almost as if the bird was flying in stealth mode. Oh how I wish those branches had not been in the way.
I never did get any decent shots of the Belted Kingfisher yesterday but I am glad to know he is back at the pond and that I should have more opportunities with him… if nothing gets in the way. So I will say it again, bird photography isn’t easy.
Maybe “Frustrations in Bird Photography” should be a regular Saturday feature here on my blog.
Life is good.