I met up with my friend Marty at Batiquitos Lagoon on the south side of Carlsbad, California last weekend. Marty is an avid visual birder, and she was after the Black Skimmer a gull-like bird with an elongated lower beak for scooping food from the water. It was the last day of Winter and the skimmers should be active. I'm not much of a birder, but I took my D100 with a 180mm f/2.8 and a Kenko 1.5X teleconverter. So naturally the first thing I did was shoot some of the flora: Beautiful, huh? But no sooner did I start to acclimate to the beauty of the place that Marty excitedly pointed to the sky and shouted "Falcon!", then jumped up and down, "A Peregrine Falcon!" she shouted again. Without thinking, I raised the camera to my eye, looked up, twisted the barrel (yep, I was manually focusing, AF was just too indecisive with the TC... ) and shot: Ok, so now you see how green I am at this bird stuff. And I don't improve much, but bear with me... After a while of patient waiting (well, for me it took patience - 5 or 10 minutes actually) I finally saw some interesting behavior. Yep, that egret was flipping fish: I tried sneaking up on him, but he sailed off to safety: So after admiring some more wild flowers: I settled into finding the Black Skimmer. And what a magnificent aviator he was. Gracefully floating above the water, beak dragging for food. Here is a four shot montage, using the multiple layer method of super-imposing images into an action sequence (the EXIF data belongs to the second exposure from the left): All of my previous bird captures have been incidental to some other target, but this time I went after birds specifically. And it was fun! I'm sure the perfect weather and protected habitat with over a hundred types of birds helped, and although I'll never be anywhere near as good as most of you at this, I can certainly see myself going back to the lagoon!