This was one of my favorite end of 2010 experiences. Saw some Northern Harriers as I was leaving Bolivar the day before but couldn’t get close to them. Decided to follow one of my golden rules: if you don’t like the shots that you got today, go back tomorrow. After trying to get some shorebird shots, I decided to go inland to try to find a Harrier. Got to the edge of the tall grass line and decided to lay down in the sand to wait for one to come by. Not too bright of an idea and I quickly learned that the grass was too tall and I couldn’t see anything coming. Got up and then kneeled down in the sand at the grass line. Decided that was also a dumb idea as I stuck out like a sore thumb. Finally used my aging brain and went into the grass to wait for the Harriers. Another miscalculation was that the grass was very tall and I had to get up fairly high on my knees to see anything. Should have brought the weed wacker with me. It was a little challenging to get situated with having my waders on. My ‘ol back was hurting already from laying on the beach so I ended up laying on my back a few times in the grass to rest. Really glad that no one else was around to see me rolling around in the grass.
Finally saw a couple of Harriers in the distance and waited for them to come my way. Was thrilled when this one dove out of the sky and flew right at me. He didn’t see me until he got fairly close. Unfortunately I lost the focus on him at the critical moment with the tall grass in the foreground and he flew off. Bumbed that I missed the best shot but glad that I got this one.
Taken with Canon 7D and 100-400 lens hand held (with ground pod and flash laying in the grass beside me)
F5.6 @ 1/800 sec, +1 exposure compensation, aperature priority, spot metering, ISO 250