Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Saturday morning I was playing the bachelor waiting for my wife to return from a trip, so I decided to get up early and try to do some bird photography.  I had not been out to our local nature park on the Chesapeake Bay this year so I decided to go out there in hopes of finding some Sanderlings or maybe even a few straggler plovers.  Low tide was just 30 minutes after sunrise so maybe I could get some good birds in good light.  Plus a storm had moved through Friday night and it was much cooler.  Sounded Great.  Unfortunately it was very hazy and humid, the biting flies were out in force and there were no sandpipers of any kind.  So I spent about an hour practicing getting terns and Ospreys in flight and diving while backlit.  Didn't make for great photos but it was useful practice.  I kept my camera in continuous focus, AI Servo on a Canon, while the birds flew by but once they started to hover in preparations to dive I would release the autofocus button (I use back button focus so I have control over it) and hope they stayed the same distance away as they dove.  That was a pretty good assumption and I didn't have to worry about the camera picking up something in the background to focus on or reacquiring focus if I lost the bird in the frame.
I did manage to get this series of an Osprey taking off after a dive that was decent. 

But the best was this "accident."  I was following the Osprey in the lens and didn't realize it was getting so close to the sun.  But I love the ephemeral feeling to it.
And it reminds me of the myth of Icarus who ignored his father's instructions not to fly too close to the sun.  When Icarus did, his wings, made of wax and feathers, melted and Icarus feel to his death.  But admit it, if you had wings wouldn't you fly too close to the sun?
Have a great day and enjoy some truly great bird photos at Tuesday's Tweets and Wild Bird Wednesday.


  1. Great photos, Bryan! I really love that last one - it does have a really magical look! I went out to Mackay Island Refuge on Knotts Island today and got some egrets in flight...fun!

  2. Ephemeral is the right word!! There is such emotion there!

  3. A great series of photos and that last one is just beautiful!

  4. Cool shots, Bryan! Really nice!

  5. Wonderful series. Always cool to watch the Osprey fishing.

  6. Hi there - nice set of pictures - I like images that have an accidental element. I took some images of flying ospreys about a year ago, and it was only when I looked at them on the computer that I discovered one was carrying a fish. It was a nice find.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia
    PS: Hope the bird did not get too close to the sun!

  7. Nice captures!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. Excellent pictures. There is no other choice but to take the picture in front of you but...how you take it leaves a million options. Your technique is spot on.

  9. Brilliant - and one of natures finest sights for sure

    I was lucky enough the witness Osprey taking fish from the sea in a small coastal bay at Morrocoy Venezuela....