Nature clicks #161 - Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1  


It was a great weekend to be outside. I did some shooting around the house on Saturday but today nothing could stop me to go back to the Green Island Wetlands. There is plenty of water everywhere. The Mississippi water level was even higher than on Friday, most islands are under water, and I heard there is still a lot of snow up north...


Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2



Have you ever tried to make a picture of a flying swallow? Well, not an easy task as you can imagine. Actually it was quite a challenge that I faced today and it took me a while to figure out a way of getting an image of a swallow with open wings. There are many of the Northern Rough-winged Swallows in the wetlands at the moment. They feed almost restless on insects over the ponds and lakes. As I said, almost restless. Sometimes they sit for a few seconds on a perch, mostly a branch that sticks out of the water.


Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3


I approached carefully one of those perches that the swallows used frequently, (hiding behind a dirt hill) and focussed on the end of the branch. Because the lens has such a shallow depth of field at 500 mm focal length it needed manual focus to make a halfway sharp image. There is no way that the autofocus will really lock on when a bird approaches the landing site with high speed as swallows usually do. It happens so fast that I have of course plenty of pictures showing the bird finally sitting but a few shots worked out well as you can see... More to come