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Photographing bird in flight
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Photographing birds in flight is not an easy task, but I found as is often the case with wildlife photography, that being in the right place at the right time is the key. I have had a small amount of success photographing Swifts which i'll consentrate on here. This opportunity presented itself for a few days in early July at Woolmer Pond.

Swifts came to feed over the pond and surrounding area regularly during this period, along with large numbers of Sand Martins (at times 150+) and smaller numbers of Swallows and House Martins. They would often appear in plentiful numbers in the morning and evening when the light was at its best for photographing them. To the east of the pond is an area of high ground, which gives a good view of the surrounding area. By positioning myself here and facing away from the light I hoped that by using the servo/tracking auto focus setting on my canon set-up, I would stand a good chance of getting some shots, the birds occasionally came so close I could have touched them, I could hear there wings slicing the air. I believe at times they were feeding on midges that were attracted to me! The number of birds present meant I was able to pick one to track that was coming my way at a distance I felt was appropriate. I probably took over 100 shots on each occasion I tried, and fired off bursts of shots each time I had the chance to. Many of them were deleted but just a few filled enough of the picture, were reasonable compositions, and in focus.

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Richard Ford