Merlin on a Snag

A male Merlin doing a classic stretch after a long perch in the rain at Coyote Hills Regional Park of Fremont, California.....
Read more

A male Merlin doing a classic stretch after a long perch in the rain at Coyote Hills Regional Park of Fremont, California..
Read less





Peer Award
Top Choice
HashEdi Danori narahnarah andrewquarrell_1632 susobhan007 tiinaharrison kimmarieostrowski +14
Magnificent Capture
miketrainor KristinaOers Vitaliy_SN Sandyjeff UPbyVeronica simonparry johnmichaelwaddysmith +13
Superb Composition
Mateo1234 RGSeager shaundavis65 akphotographystudio stevealbano Gilleroo1 TLTownsend +9
Absolute Masterpiece
charlesdpeters Igor_pol tcurry13 phillipmcpeek Didgeridog Herbert_A_Franke arulmani66 +8
Outstanding Creativity
mimimittel GELeka ZlatkoBorenovicBURKI cahit CURUTCHET annmor shelleytemplelarter
Superior Skill
kevinwallace_1613 WildSidePhotography JonDavatzPhotography
All Star
JayneBug biglenswildlife


bclumberjack EloIm numonedad calummcdonald vijayakumarvarmar

Top ClassTM

Inspired By The World Photo ContestTop 10 class
Inspired By The World Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Earth Day Every Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
Picturing Other Species Photo ContestTop 10 class
ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 20 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 28Top 10 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 28Top 10 class week 2
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 28Top 10 class week 1


7 Comments | Report
bobtoye Platinum
bobtoye April 20, 2018
Fantastic!! Perfect timing, gorgeous clarity.
Alfredo_Jose August 11, 2018
Beautiful shot!
bobbytaylor71 PRO
bobbytaylor71 September 28, 2018
An incredible skillfully well crafted image ... Awesome colour, detail and clarity of focus.
bobbytaylor71 PRO
bobbytaylor71 September 28, 2018
Congrats on your award "Won Featured, September 2018", well done.
otisandalicereading January 20, 2019
DNproSTUDIO November 28, 2019
nice moment for this photo
wernerjansenvanvuuren April 08, 2020
perfect timing, great shot

Behind The Lens

The photo was taken at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, California.
It was 3 days after Thanksgiving and I remember it started to rain as I was heading out to the park, which is about 15 minutes drive away from my house. The date was Nov 26, 2017 and the time was 11:26AM. For some reasons the same pair of the Merlin keeps coming back to the same spot at this park around Thanksgiving and leaves before Spring. It has been many years they have been frequenting Coyote Hills park.
It was close to noon time but the lighting condition was very favorable for photography due to the overcast sky and rainy weather. The rain had also set some mood by adding those sparkling dots on the bird's feathers. Finally, it was a picture perfect when the bird put up some stretching pose.
This was shot using the Canon EOS 7D Mk II with a 600mm attached to a 1.4x teleconverter on a Gitzo tripod. The tripod made the shot possible at 1/250s shutter speed using the heavy overcast natural lighting. A combination of the Canon crop body camera along with the teleconverter had provided a good reach to capture more details of the bird.
I always like taking bird pictures in the rain as it added a special mood to the image. The soft-lighting and the ability to capture streaks of raindrops using slow shutter speed are opportunities that don't come that often in California.
I keep the same post-processing workflow to make sure I have a consistent result. Striking a balance between the shadow and highlight usually makes your subject more pronounced and interesting.
In my camera bag
Having a good reach is essential for bird photography. I always carry a teleconverter (either 1.4x or 2.0x TCs) attached to my prime 600mm as it they were part of the lens. Often times I even stack the TCs especially when shooting still subjects. This was made possible with the latest Sony's equipment that I recently switched to from Canon.
Being patience is just a small portion in bird photography. Understanding the birds behavior as well respecting their comfort zone are essential as these two factors open up more opportunities to capture interesting poses when the subjects don't feel your presence as a threat. This is why a longer focal length lens is essential for the reach while respecting the comfort zone of the subject.

See more amazing photos, follow phoochan

Join and share your creativity.
Already have a ViewBug account? Log In

*By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use and to receive ViewBug emails & updates and acknowledge that read our Privacy Policy.