Waterthrush Singing in the Mist

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It's quite incredible how this scene came together and I was so happy to be able to share it with two other great photographers who attended my workshop for the Louisiana Waterthrush. We had arrived at the location at 7am, hiked in with all our gear, looked at a spot for another bird (it was not there) then hiked to this location. We got ourselves all set up in the river with waders and all a little before 8am. The waterthrush was calling overhead the entire time we were there and would occasionaly come down to the river to feed. I knew this behavior so I set up a few choice perches hoping it might use some of them. At the point of this photo it was 9:15am so we had been sitting in the water for over an hour and the bird had given us some great photos already but never stayed down very long and never hit this particular perch. We were just beginning to talk about leaving when we noticed the light fog starting to flow down the river in the quickly warming air. The entire area took on such a moody look and we said to each other, if the bird comes down into this we are going to have some incredible images. Mere moments before we planned on leaving the bird once more dropped down from the trees and started working the rocks looking for food. It landed on some rocks about 10 feet behind this perch and then it happened, it flew right over and landed on the other end of this perch. We were all shooting and happy. The bird then jumped off the perch and bounced along the rock right under this perch and looked for food right at the water's edge. Then it did exactly what we all wanted and flew right to the top of this log and began singing! We were all shooting like crazy and couldn't believe what was happening. I took a few shots and then dipped my perspective a little bit lower to place the bird up into the darker background just above the mist and it belted out a song! A few moments later and the bird flew back up to the trees and we all high-fived each other because of what just happened. It was incredible to spend all that time with a single bird in hopes it would do what you wanted and it did exactly that. I have a lot of photos of this species from my two outings and this is certainly one of my favorites. I realyl love being able to share this type of experience with my workshop attendees and if you would like to experience something like this story please join me for an outing.

• Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

• Date Taken: April 13, 2019

• Exposure: 1/40 @ f/5.6

• ISO: 110 - auto +2/3 EV

• Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

• Focal Length: 420mm

• Lens: Nikon 300mm f/4 PF VR + 1.4x TCIII

• Camera: Nikon D4s

Nature photography has become a very passionate hobby of mine and whenever I get a chance I love to get outside and enjoy being outdoors. I am also the co-owner of KGM Expressions, a wedding and portrait photography business, with my wife Kim. This is how we make our living and I love that we get to do that together.