Canon 10D, handheld
|But not last|
Though I will take opportunities that arise, I'm not a bird photographer, and most especially don't try birds in flight too often – it's pretty challenging and very easy to screw up. But during a brief visit to some dunes on North Topsail Beach, there was a lot of activity and I was already annoyed at having been denied the ability to bring my cameras into a freaking airshow (this is what happens when you give idiots authority.) So I was looking for something to show for the trip, at least.
Ha! Get it? "At least" This is, of course, a least tern (Sterna antillarum) that chose to fly almost directly overhead while I was ready – the part that I'm most pleased to have captured is the catchlight reflection in the eye, which I sharpened slightly just for web resolution here. I rarely see terns, and almost never this close and with such a sinuous position. And the other images that I have of it as it passed somehow never show that catchlight, even though I would have though it would show much better, closer and more in profile.
Looking at the maps before our 2017 trip to North Topsail, I realized that we were going to be only a few kilometers from this very spot, and so did a side trip over during the stay. Just goes to show you how conditions can change from day to day: we saw bupkiss, practically nothing at all, and certainly not the wide variety of avian species that I saw when I shot this pic.