Swifts hunt late in the afternoons over the new lake at the botanical gardens. They fly in great swooping turns, then dart along the surface, occasionally diving down to grab a hapless insect.

They’re a challenge to capture. Small, very fast and crossing the field of vision you have to spot them by eye, lift the camera at wide zoom, keep them centred as you zoom in, pan like hell and hope the autofocus is fast enough. The light is fading this late in the afternoon, so the ISO ramps up and the water starts to get noisy.

But, like much photography, take enough pictures and you’ll get a few worth sharing.

Swift flying over water

Swift over water


Swifts over water

Caught a pair

Swift hunting insects

Making a Splash

Swift flying

Flying away from the lens

Swift water splash

Caught one!

Swift fishing splash

In a cloud of droplets

Swift flying over water

Putting power on after a dive

Swift flying

This is why we wait for the afternoon sun

Swift in fast turn

Banking hard

The new lens is bloody awesome.

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