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Otmoor, Oxon, UK. 24 September 2016
EOS 7D mk II & 400mmf4DO + x1.4TC. 1/4000 sec f5.6 ISO 800

This is a Birdguides 'Notable Photo'

Over the years, I have had various attempts at Hobby photography, but without any good results as they are usually too far off and/or moving very fast. On this visit to my local site of the RSPB reserve on Otmoor,  it never occurred to me that this was about to change! Otmoor is often a frustrating place for a photographer, as generally everything is too distant.

Having caught up with the elusive but long staying Purple Heron the week before, I thought I would go back to try and get a photo of it. As last week, I positioned myself part way along the bridleway and settled in for a wait. This week the conditions were quite pleasant and warm but after some time there was no sign of the Purple Heron, so I decided on a change of scene and moved to the first blind. There wasn't much doing here either, but as it warmed up, out came a Hobby, presumably hunting for its favourite prey - dragonflies. 

After a while here, it seemed worth returning to the bridleway to see if there had been any sightings of the Purple Heron, so I positioned myself quite by chance near to a pool on Greenaways. As time moved on, there continued to be no sign of the Purple Heron but then two Hobbies appeared over the pool right in front of me. I started tracking one of them as it swooped over the pool and started eating some prey item. It then suddenly decided to head in my direction, moving fast, very fast. This shot was almost the final frame I took, and is quite sharp despite the speed of the bird's flight and having the x1.4TC on the lens. Perhaps the AF system on the 7D mk II was worth it after all!

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