Canada Goose Sticking its Tongue Out

As close to vertically level as possible is often the ideal camera position for photographing a bird, especially one swimming. Of course, when a bird is swimming, perfectly level would mean a nearly or partially submerged camera. I don't recall seeing an underwater housing for a birding lens and I therefore prefer to be high enough above-water to keep the lens dry.
 
On this day, I was sitting on the ground at the edge of the creek with two tripod legs and one of my own legs in the water. Though I was bending over uncomfortably hard to get to a low-positioned camera, all was good with the setup. That is, good until I heard two Canada geese getting into a squabble. Two very loud geese were taking flight from mid-stream and headed directly toward me. While that shouldn't be a problem, they were watching each other instead of where they were going.
 
It didn't take long to realize that I was directly in their trajectory. I raised a foot to block the rapidly incoming fowl and held the camera and lens tightly with both hands. Minimally, the first goose crashed hard into my boot. I say minimally because I turned my head just prior to impact and I'm not sure if the second goose crashed also or was able to correct itself in time (wish I had video of that). There was lots of flapping and ... lots of water covering both me and the gear.
 
I quickly sacrificed the remaining dry areas of my shirt to dry the camera and lens. Fortunately, both were weather sealed and fine, but ... I still don't like to take chances and like to keep the gear clean – much more than I cared about my shirt.
 
Capturing interesting behavior is always a goal of photographing wildlife, but this behavior was a bit over the top and ... I was unprepared to capture it. The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L Lens would have been ideal for this accident scene. The best I could do was photograph the rude goose after the incident.
 
While photography is often used to tell a story, very often photographing creates stories. This day gave me a story that I'll long remember. Go photograph frequently and you will likely have many interesting stories to tell.
 
Disclaimer: No geese were harmed in the making of this image.


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