Lately I've been trying to capture a nice, crisp image of rough-winged swallows in typical feeding action. A handful of the small birds occasionally stops by the pool in front of the cottage, swiftly circling over the water, twisting and turning with aerodynamic grace and lethal accuracy as they work the air just above the river's surface for hatching insects.
Like bats, dragonflies, and similar high-speed fliers whose flight patterns are erratic or quick-changing, rough-winged swallows present a real photographic challenge to track in-focus, keep well framed, and catch in your recorded image at that fraction of a moment when everything is interestingly depicted. A goal which has, so far, eluded my efforts.
But I'm getting close…at least I'm now managing to count on one out of every three or four frames to be more or less properly focused. A ratio that's a decided improvement compared to my initial efforts.
Close, perhaps, but still no cigar. I've not yet captured that singular, artistically satisfying image.
Incidentally, I remain conflicted and open to correction as to whether the birds are indeed rough-winged swallows or bank swallows. I believe I'm correct in saying the former, because I never see (or note in one of my attempted photos) that distinct wrap-around dark breast band or white throat of the bank swallow. However, that assumption could easily be based on my birding incompetence.