I often make the observation that one of the reasons I’m a bird photographer rather than a birder is because many of the trappings of traditional birding simply don’t appeal to me – keeping lists, in particular. But I’ll admit that getting a “lifer” rings my bell (for me, a lifer means my first good shots of the species, not the first time I’ve seen one).
This Western Wood-Peewee from my first Montana trip this month was a bell-ringer for me.
A relatively drab bird on rusty barbed wire with a similarly colored background makes for a shot that is basically monochromatic but I’m fine with that and I also like the graphic lines of the two strands of rusty barbed wire.
This bird was “sit and wait hunting” on the wire for small insects. Because they’re so small and light-weight their take-off is incredibly fast – so much so that the photographer has virtually no chance to get a take-off shot unless…
1/3200, f/5.6, ISO 640. 500 f/4, 1.4 tc, natural light
you just luck out and happen to press the shutter button at the right moment, which is exactly what happened here. I’m glad I had the shutter speed for the shot.
These birds usually hunt from high perches so I was happy to catch a few of them hunting from the wire this low to the ground and at eye level