Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Flutter And Hold


At the same time I shot those oystercatchers, I also was keeping an eye on this tern as he hunted for some fish in the shallow water near the sandbar I was on. He'd hover in the air for a couple of seconds, something that few birds can do as effectively, and if he saw something, he'd dive in for it. I didn't catch him with anything in his beak, but I do recall he finally got something after he'd moved beyond the reach of my telephoto lens.

It was pretty amazing how he could change the pitch of his wings to hold himself in one spot as he hunted. Maybe not quite a graceful as a humming bird, but better than a lot of other species.

You could tell when he spotted something, his attention was suddenly locked on to something that was about to get eaten.

In this shot, you can get a small sense of where I was at, although the telephoto lens distorts the distance a great deal. That's the Sunshine Skyway bridge in the background, with the city of St. Petersburg rising out of the water behind it. I think it's maybe 9 miles to the bridge from where I was at, and twenty or more town. But the long lens makes it look as if you can reach out and grab it. The white dots in the water are birds gathered on another sandbar out in the bay.

1 comment:

SRQ said...

Nice in-flight shots. I'm looking forward to the day when I'm able to get decent captures of birds in-flight. I'm always just a little off. Maybe I should use shutter priority...but, I never know when I'm suddenly going to see a bird in-flight.