As I mentioned a bit back, I was working in central Wisconsin for a couple of weeks, trying to photograph whenever the workload wasn't excessive (or it was raining). One of my passions in bird photography has been trying to land good photographs of kingfishers. Kingfishers are elusive and difficult to photograph birds. They don't have the size of the ospreys or other fish-hunting predator birds; their flight speed and darting movements make flight shots difficult; and they tend to bolt away whenever people come within decent shooting range. Typically, a kingfisher will flit away when a person gets within a "bubble" of 75 -100 feet, making close shots without massive cropping highly improbable. One late day, mostly overcast and threatening rain but with flickers of rose from a declined sun, I came to a place where power lines crossed near to cranberry bogs. Several banded kingfishers were quarrelling, sometimes quite violently, their attentions more given to each other more than watching for those pesky humans. I siddled over to a vantage spot and waited for a longish time. Gradually, the kingfishers grew somewhat accustomed to my standing still in the area, and were less skittish. Rapid camera (and lens) movements would, however, send them away. I had to restrain myself from pivoting quickly to try and land shots. Much to my surprise, a female dove perhaps twenty feet in front of me, too rapidly for me to catch it entering and leaving the water. It then perched on a power line above me, looking a bit "spiky" with the water still clinging to its feathers. Nikon D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR, TC17E, ISO640, processed in NC, cropped These are "high key" photos, much better described as such rather than, "shot contre-jour with increased ISO, as much EV comp as I could think of at that moment, and hoping I could get some detail on the dark head and pitch-coloured eyes, instead of a soot black sock on the top of the stocky body". I probably should have run these through noise reduction, but I decided to let the conditions speak for themselves. I was astonished in processing to see a "catchlight" (of sorts) on the kingfisher's eyes in a couple of my shots, so things are not so bad as all that. Even if these were not quite full frame, border-to-border kingfisher shots in crisp sunlight, I was elated at my placement. And I had yet to get the most fun I would have out of this session... (to be continued) Always shoot. John P.