I didn't really plan to be on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake in Utah last Thursday. It was just a spontaneous decision to drive up there from Salt Lake City in the late afternoon, after I was done with my work chores in town. I wanted to get an impression of the lake, with nothing particular in mind. The map made me believing this would be the right place for my intend. Since I hadn't read anything about the island before I was surprised to see Pronghorns, Bison, Meadowlarks, and many other birds.
I didn't know the name of this bird until I came back home to Iowa and looked it up in the field guide. It is a Chukar, a bird we don't find in the Midwest. What I saw immediately was, that it was a perfect setting with the bird sitting on the rock and the snow covered mountains in the background. The sun was already very low, minutes away from disappearing behind the crest, but just right for this picture.
Don't take me wrong. I like to be prepared when I go out shooting. I believe in good preparation. That includes having the right gear on site and learning something about the location ahead of time, especially if it is a new one. Sometimes it just doesn't work out this way. And that's when things hit you by surprise. Good ones and bad ones. I guess this time things were in my favor. The weather was perfect and I had the right lens already mounted to the camera. Too short for some of the wildlife I saw, but just right for this image and the brief moment the Chukar was posing for me.