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I've been trying for awhile now to get a decent picture of a pelican in flight. Today, I hit the jackpot. My mom and I were lingering at one of their favorite sloughs in the Baylands and the entire pelican community seemed to fly in within the span of about an hour. When we arrived, there were a couple of birds preening, but by the time we left there were about 60-70 pelicans. I am not exaggerating. We counted them! So, lucky me, I got more than just one decent picture. I liked this one with Stanford's Hoover Tower in the background.
Turns out the C-AF-TR setting (continuous auto focus with tracking) works pretty well. It pays to read the manual.
The Willet is a rather non-descript brownish bird when standing on the shore, but when it flies it has a striking brown and white wing pattern. It seems many birds that are much more interesting when flying. I took a bunch of pictures attempting to get this bird in flight and they were all too blurry to pass my muster except this one. I was so annoyed about all my out of focus pictures that I was forced to RTFM. Come to find out, on my new camera, continuous AF (C-AF) is not the right focus mode to use on a moving bird. I should of been using continuous AF plus tracking (C-AF+TR) so that the camera will track and MAINTAIN focus on the subject. Yes, that does make sense. So, basically, this was a lucky shot (and not up to my normal standards anyway because the wing is cut off), but I learned a valuable lesson from this bird.
By the way, all those brown specks on the water are bugs. I had no idea they were there until I looked at my pictures.