Love redwing blackbirds ever since childhood.
Luck is good. I had the wrong camera, the wrong lens, and the blackbirds were out in numbers at the local marsh.
Wrong camera because the Phase One XF is dreadfully slow to focus with long lenses. (Wrong lens because too long for fast shooting.)
Nonetheless, I was struggling to focus on this blackbird as he was clinging to a reed, when he took off. Instinctively, as if I had the right camera and the right lens, I followed his flight the best I could, hammering away on the shutter button and hoping for the best (I typically have the camera set up so that it refuses to take a shot if it’s not in focus, so nothing was happening).
And at some point in all of that frantic button-pushing, it took one photo. This photo. This little treasure of a red-wing blackbird in full flight.
I got some other nice photos of blackbirds clinging to reeds, but this is my favorite. Partly for the serendipity (and long odds against it), partly because the timing is perfect. Neve argue with luck, I guess.
When painting in the mountains behind Malibu, California, I saw a flock of these beautiful birds. Unforgettable!