Capture on "film" that is. Yes these small birds are really fast as they dart through the sky, skim the water and dive under a dock in their pursuit of bugs to eat.
While photographing the Ospreys seen in my previous post near my parents' house on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia another feathered friend caught my eye. I had no success trying to focus on one in flight and get its picture. So then I got smarter and focused on a section of dock where the birds would occasionally fly.
Alas, I had some success. I was determined in this effort because I thought this bird with a forked tail may be a first-time "lifer" bird for me.
My mom had an Audubon bird book at her house that I used to identify my target as a Barn Swallow.
When I realized that these birds are Barn Swallows I also realized this was not a lifer for me. I had photographed a "kettle" of them a few years ago back home in coastal South Carolina. See that post here.
whatbird.com's identification forum I learned this is also a Barn Swallow. Click on the picture to better see the two strands at the end of the tail. This next picture better shows the bird's forked tail.
But again whatbird.com to the rescue. A very observant member says that is actually another Barn Swallow behind the snake. It's the bird's wings. I think that is correct too, now.
Why would someone put a fake snake on a dock like this? Did a kid leave it or lose it? Maybe it is an effort to scare off pests such as this Groundhog (also called Woodchuck), which I photographed from a distance while shooting the birds you see.
Neat encounter and like the Osprey nest with three little ones this had its share of surprises too! That's what makes this such a neat hobby!