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My first Great Crested Grebe

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Richard Peters, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. First of all, excuse the long post that goes with this photo, but I'm very pleased that I managed to get this shot as the very few previous times I've seen one its been way off in the distance!

    I went out with a friend today with an aim of finding some new locations to shoot. I forget what area we were in but we stumbled on a nature reserve type place (which was actually more like a small lake with a kids play area set to one side). On the map at the entrance it said there were Grebes in the lake so we wondered around in the hope of just spotting some. We did eventually spot a pair right out in the middle of the lake so we happily sat watching for a while when eventually it became clear they were coming a bit closer. I quickly laid on the floor and fired some shots off, wondering why my camera wouldn't track them - only to realise once they had dived down under the water that I still had my focus set to single focus and not continuous focus from the last time I used it! I had a quick look at the shots, saw they were all out of focus and cursed myself for several minutes and waited for the birds to resurface but they didn't so we walked on further up the path. We now had small trees between us and the view of the lake but I spotted one diving down just the other side of the trees/bushes, not more than 5 feet away!

    I sat watching that same spot waiting to see if I'd get lucky and he would pop up in the same place when suddenly out the corner of my eye I saw he had popped up right next to me, in amongst the trees etc! I frantically tried focus on him as he swam for the open water again and this was the only shot that came out, I got him in the only opening in amongst the branches that gave a clear enough view:

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    I had to crop to portrait as there are OOF branches covering parts of his body in the landscape original. Its not a world class shot but I am very pleased to have seen one so close for the first time and managed to get some kind of shot from it!!

    D2x with 200-400 VR handheld at 400mm, 1/250 second at F6.3
  2. Glacier


    Jan 17, 2006
    Boaz, Alabama
    I completely understand your excitement. I am always thrilled when I get the chance to photograph a new species. I think you did well considering what you had to shoot through to get this one.
  3. Congratulations. A very nice capture, accompanied by an interesting story.
  4. Baxter


    Jan 8, 2007
    Clemson, SC
    Very exciting and a really nice shot too! Reminds me of chasing my first hooded merganser. I crawled through gravel for that photo. Good work!
  5. radz


    Nov 12, 2005
    Nice sharp one!
  6. Patience pays off again! I like the picture...he looks like he's rolling his eyes at you! :biggrin:
  7. Thanks everyone, now to try and get more than a grab shot..! I'm still trying to get the Heron shot I've pictured in my head for the last 3 years though so we could be a while yet...
  8. What a great portrait - well done!
  9. Nice grebe - they are so unpredictable, as you have explained.
    I know what you mean about pictures in the head: I can see one with a pair of great cresteds shaking their heads at each other in display - perhaps I'll shoot it one day.

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