Saturday Evening Post #179: In the Blink of an Eye

Well it could be the blink of an eye, but perhaps a better descriptor would be the instant between the Nikon D500 mirror going up. And then… Coming down.

I was having a little portrait session with two of the young Black-shouldered Kites. They had been spending the morning gaining skills at working on the ground and in the long grass. Not yet able to ‘hunt’ but at least getting familiar with the process.
I had been moving about a little around the tree they were encamped in, looking to get the best from the backdrop.

So here is a bit bit of a departure from Saturday Evenning Post style of one photo, and a bit of rambling about the virtues of great photography and more a doco on the few milli-seconds between one event and the next.

Let’s settle down for a small portrait session.
What was that noise! One of the young birds is on the alert that something is happening
Suddenly, out of nowhere, and this shot is just after the shot above, the Collared Sparrowhawk barrelled through the treeline and put the young birds to wing. You can just see a tail disappearing at the top. The speed and stealth of the Sparrowhawk was so typical, and so impressive. That the Sparrowhawk is in focus is only because it now occupied where there kites had been sitting. Your erstwhile scribe was as surprised as could be when I reviewed the results and found one sharp frame.
Looking a bit perplexed as to what just happened, each of the young seemed unsure how to respond
Dad turned up to try and protect the young, and one of them followed him around very closely. To add to the drama a Black Kite and its two Magpie Attendants, also flew through the area. The male is checking to see if they pose any threat to his charges.
This one decided that if you were going to rest, then do so in the top of the tree among the leaves so a sneak attack would be less likely.