After a successful first photo session with the red throated loons, I just had to go back. Last time the birds left exactly when the most intense colored sunlight hit the water. Therefor I definitely had to give it another try. The weather forecast for yesterday night seemed perfect for fog, so I spent another night in the tent at the lake. Directly after arrival I noticed already one big difference from my last visit. The number insects drastically increased!!! I brought several types of repellant, which normally do a great job, but nothing seemed to really work this time. I just had to accept the situation and make the most of it.
Just like last time, before I arrived at the lake the male left. This time the female joined him on the hunt. Too bad, but at least I could normally walk to the tent without any sneaking while being eaten by insects! The evening didn’t bring anything special, but when I looked out of the tent at about 2:30, I knew it was going to be a magical morning. The fog rose several meters from the water surface and there was a slight breeze pushing the fog over the lake.
|The fog rose several meters from the lake.|
Now it was just a matter of hoping that the birds would be on the lake when the first light would hit the water and that the wind doesn’t pick up too much. …luck was on my side today. The female and here chick were hidden in the vegetation. But one of the young birds was floated around in the thick fog.
|One of the young birds floating around in the thick fog.|
|Finally the light I was waiting for!|
The video gives a good impression of the scenery. You can hear the female and the other young bird calling on the background. …pure magic…
Exactly at the moment where the colors were most intense, the other young bird landed on the lake too.
|The two young birds together.|
When the young birds left again, it was nearly impossible for the autofocus to focus against the strong light.
|Running on fire.|
Almost directly after the young birds left, the male arrived. After having delivered the fish to the chick, he came a bit closer to me and took off again. The point where he started, the back light was too intense to find the focus on the bird. I could just hope that I managed to get the focus on the bird after the first few shots. I almost didn’t dare to look on my camera display to see if the focus managed to find the bird…. Yes…. It did!
One of the young birds returned shortly, but almost immediately took off again. There was just a tiny bit of fog left on the lake, which was beautifully colored orange.
|Takeoff. Probably my favorite picture of the morning.|
After that I had one more chance to photograph the male during takeoff before being burned out of the tent by the sun.
|The last takeoff for the morning.|
Additionally to the pictures, I ended up with 57 insect bites on my right foot 26 on my left foot and plenty more in my face and on my hands. But it was worth it!