…morning light is magic…

Skimmer Addiction

My Skimmer addiction continues.  One of my goals for the year was to get a few decent Black Skimmer photos.  The bonus would be to actually get some skimming and not just flying around like last year.  I’ve exceeded my expectations on the Skimmer front and hit the motherload in Freeport, TX.  More Skimmers actually skimming than I’ve ever seen before in one place.  I was really bummed with the pond at Bryan Beach drying up but was thrilled with all of the birds along the road on the way there.   Skimmers are amazing to watch as they fly along the water with their lower bill gliding along waiting to grab their prey.  The actual catching of the fish happens in a blink of the eye when they whip their head downward when their lower bill comes in contact with a fish and the upper bill snaps down.  I also enjoy their “barking” sound as they fly away.

Here are some more of my favorites over the last couple of weeks.  All taken hand-held while sitting near the water’s edge.  Not my favorite position as the ‘ol legs fall asleep after a while.  Tried to use the ground pod a couple of times but not practical with the action coming so fast from both directions.  Handholding the camera was the best solution.  My 100-400 worked very well as they got very close and frequently had to zoom out.  At times they would come within about 10 ft of me.   I typically use +2/3 to +1 exposure compensation with flying birds near water but their white heads would get over exposed with those settings so I switched to partial metering with no exposure compensation.

Good times were had by all, except for the fire ant attack.  Felt like old times hanging out with Sheldon again.

All taken with Canon 7D and 100-400 lens, handheld.

1/400 sec @ F5.6, partial metering, ISO 400, fill flash at -3 stops with better beamer

1/400 sec @ F5.6, partial metering, ISO 400, fill flash at -3 stops with better beamer

1/8000 sec @ F7.1, partial metering, ISO 400, fill flash at -3 stops with better beamer

1/1600 sec @ F5.6, partial metering, ISO 400

1/160 sec @ F5.6, partial metering, ISO 400, fill flash at -3 stops with better beamer

1/250 sec @ F5.6, partial metering, ISO 400, fill flash at -3 stops with better beamer

1/100 sec @ F5.6, +2/3 exp. compensation, spot metering, ISO 500, fill flash at -3 stops with better beamer

1/400 sec @ F5.6, partial metering, ISO 400, fill flash at -3 stops with better beamer

1/6400 sec @ F5.0, partial metering, ISO 400, no flash

2 responses

  1. Tim…some of the best skimmer photo’s I have seen….nice work

    June 16, 2011 at 5:35 am

    • Thanks George. Much appreciated. You should make the trip down there before the water dries up.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm

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