About the 1st of September each year, a field near my house ripens with grain or other seed producing crops. The various dove species in south Texas know when the field is ready and they begin flying in just after daylight each morning. I try to sneak into the field before the birds arrive and get situated for some fast and furious flight photography.
Most of you know how much I love to photograph birds on the wing, and doves are among the most challenging subjects. So, I get about two hours of great action before the light gets too white and I have a blast doing it. It takes about 500 captures to get about 25 “keeper” shots. My favorite pose is a dove coming at me and setting its wings to land. For some reason this year, they would land only “with the wind” so I got a lot of tail shots.
This white-winged dove flew by so close that I had to blend two images to make one.
I always like to get a few shots that show the primary markings of the species.
I know most of you are wondering why I didn’t move around to get the sun and wind in my favor. I did…morning sun to my back and southeast wind to my back. These birds altered the normal procedure and landed “with the wind” most of the time.
All these photos were made with the Canon 7D Mark II and 500 mm lens (the old, heavy one) hand held while I was sitting on a camp stool in the crops. The average shutter speed was 1/4000 second to insure the action was frozen. Of course, I was extra careful not to damage any plants.