Swallows with Fledglings

I made a quick visit to the Hendrie Valley Sanctuary a couple of days ago hoping to photograph some ospreys fishing. Nature didn’t cooperate in that regard but did supply some swallows with fledglings.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-320

A number of swallow chicks were perched on some dead branches of a tree, providing me with a decent shooting angle.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-320

The parent birds returned to the branches on a periodic basis to feed their young. As always, the adult birds were like erratic rocket ships as they zipped through the air.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-800

The parent birds would either quickly touch down to feed their chicks, or do a quick hover feeding.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/8, 1/3200, ISO-1000

No matter how often the adult birds returned with food, the fledglings’ appetites seemed insatiable.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm @ 220 mm, efov 594 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-450

The adult birds arrived and left so quickly that even shooting in AF-C at 10 frames-per-second would only yield a few, usable images. The capture above of an in-flight adult feeding its perched chick was my best capture of the day.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm @ 220 mm, efov 594 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-450

The very next frame in the AF-C run didn’t have the same visual impact due to the change in wing position of the adult bird.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm @ 220 mm, efov 594 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-450

At times the adults seemed to be a bit perplexed as to which chick to feed when they arrived back at the perched fledglings. While these swallows were not my intended subject during my visit, they did provide a good level of challenge trying to capture them.

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6, and the Nik Collection.

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