Thanks very much Rick.You accomplished the impossible Bob. Well done.
Thanks Darrell.Quick draw Mc Graw, I tried them in a spray and pray, nary a shot, well done Bob..........
Thanks Dan..I have to try the auto focus point selection. Maybe it will increase the keeper rate.Anytime you keep them in the frame and IF call it a win, Bob. If you haven't tried it yet the D850/500PF do an amazing job with focus point set to A. I tried it out this past week and it is the first time I've ever been satisfied when turning the focus point selection over to the camera. Particularly with high contrast between bird and BG it does an excellent job of focusing somewhere on the bird at least.
Thanks Luis..practice practice..also You might try Dan's suggestion. I will do the same.Nice shot of a very difficult subject. All I get is blurred images when I try.
I will be going out again next week. Part of the secret is being comfortable with the gear being used. I find that the 500 pf coupled with the D500 or D850 in this case acquires focus quickly. Typically for these situations I shoot in manual mode with a high SS though will in good sunlight use a SS of at least 6-8000 next time. Aperture set wide open ( F/5.6 with the 500 pf ) and Auto ISO. I use continuous mode shooting - group or D25 focus points but am looking to try auto focus point as per Dan's suggestion, back button focus acquisition; matrix metering; and most importantly take some time to observe the flight patterns ( even though they seem very erratic there are some repetitive patterns that can be observed.) Then hope that you guessed right on a particular pattern. eg they like to swoop along the water line. Lastly shooting with a camera that has the capability of high FPS eg 8-12 fps certainly helps.Please post more and tell us your technique.