RoutineThis flight shot of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker was taken in a completely other manner than the flight shots of the Common Terns shown earlier in this blog.

The woodpecker had its nesting cavity with very loud chicks in a dead berch tree, about 3 meters above ground level. I had spent a mere 20 minutes at the nesting site, when I had seen three identical visits of the woodpecker. It would land at the back of the nesting tree, would walk around the trunk towards the cavity, feed the young ones, go inside and fly away with a billful of rubbish from inside the cavity, everytime in the same direction.

This routine offered very good chances for flight shots. With the camera and lens mounted on a tripod, I focused on the cavity, put the lens on MF, increased the ISO to 800 to achieve a shutterspeed of 1/2500s at F8 and waited. Every 15 minutes, the woodpecker would visit the cavity and perform the same routine. So did I. As soon as it sticked its head out of the cavity, I hit the shutterbutton and took about 20 images in 2 seconds. Of these, I could throw away 19, but could keep one. Within 45 minutes, I had several sharp flight shots, of which the one shown here has the best wingposition and the best position of the bird in the frame.

Great Spotted Woodpecker; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS; 1/2500s at F8 and ISO 800; Gitzo tripod