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White-winged Black Tern

White-winged Black Tern

 Laskowiec, Biebrza, Poland. 22 May 2017
EOS 7D mk II with EF 100-400f5.6 II
ISO 400 1/4000 sec @f5.6

On this trip to north east Poland, having spent a few days in the famous Bialowieza ancient forest, I moved over to the Biebrza marshes. On arriving in the area, I took a quick look at the floods to the east of Laskowiec, first from the main road where I could see many White-winged Black Terns over the marshes. Driving along a minor road gave a closer approach but the track that went into the area was flooded, although there were tantalising views in the distance of the terns flying back and forth over the track.

Overnight, I formulated a plan of attack for the next day, and so returned at around midday when I hoped the sun would be behind me. There was no way I was going to attempt to drive along the track through the flood - it looked too deep. So lacking any wellies, my plan was to paddle through the flooded section, carrying a spare set of footwear with me. After a few minutes of cautious wading I was through to the un-flooded section beyond. The further along I went, the closer I got to the terns, until I reached a point very close to where they may have been breeding. I didn't spend long here and backed off somewhat. Overall I spent some time in this magical spot taking loads of photos with my 100-400 lens of these fast moving, erratic targets. These were really difficult subjects but a very small percentage came out OK, and this one is my favourite due to its sharpness and pose.

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