There I was practicing my Ornithological Glide, moving slowly and smoothly closer to the edge of the wetland, pausing to take photos of the green heron I was stalking, taking another slow, smooth, steady step, when all of a sudden a pickup truck went zooming past and startled the green heron into flight.
That's one way to get a great flight photo.
I've been practicing my patience in the front yard lately as I stake out hummingbird feeders in hopes of getting the zippy little guys to hang around long enough to pose for pictures, but they've been scarce. Suddenly they've entered Guardian Stage: a hummingbird (usually male) will perch on a limb or a telephone line near one of the feeders and then swoop in to chase away any encroaching hummies. With three feeders scattered about, this makes for high drama, with hummies chasing each other all over the place, moving so quickly that they're really hard to catch on camera.
But sometimes patience pays off.
That's how birding works: long periods of slow, steady, silent gliding or sitting followed by a whizz and a flap and they're off! The camera prefers those moments of drama, but me? I am birding: watch me glide--see me sit.