Summer is rapidly approaching. It is not my favorite season by any stretch harsh light and long days do not make a great bird photography environment. Many of my favorite subjects leave town too. It can get very hot here and a lot of birds migrate to cooler locals. One of the bright spots in the hot months are the Terns. We have a population of Least, Forester’s, Caspian, Skimmer, and common Terns that thrive in the heat at the shoreline. The still protected California Least in particular breed close to my favorite spot. Terns are really just small sea gulls in appearance, feed exclusively on fish and are very, very fast. At times there are hundreds of them that show up to fish creating a feeding frenzy.
I recently had my first session of the season and I have to say what a difference year makes, both good and bad. The good part was that I had all my camera settings down cold and I now owned a much better camera. On this day I was using my older Nikon D2x which fires only 5 frames per second. For the first time I couldn’t live without a better 9 frame camera. The bad part? I was way out of practice and feeling a bit older. Hand holding a 300mm 2.8 lens for several hours is tough under any circumstances but on that day it was an extra tough work out, the birds were so fast. Much faster than last year I am quite sure! Strangely enough though, post processing showed it as a typical Tern shoot.
This all leads my to the point of this post. Bird photography is hard. We all try to make it look easy but really it is very hard. Doesn’t matter if it is Terns, birds in flight, bird portraits, zoo shots, or anything else, it is a hard thing to do and takes lots of practice and patience. It is not rocket science though, anyone can do it, and it does not have to cost nearly as much as many of us spend. If you are out there doing it, keep doing it and know that it is not easier for anyone else. Good things come with time.
Thanks for reading everyone. Until next week goodbye and remember to keep your neighborhood a ‘No Drone Zone’.