White-faced ibis with fish

A white-faced ibis catches a small fish for dinner
A white-faced ibis catches a small fish for dinner. Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-7D. ISO 640. Evaluative metering +1 EV: 1/500 sec. at f/8.

I took this photograph in February, but just now had a chance to process it and get it up on my site. With the spring migration ending, and way too much snow still in the high Sierra, I’ve been biding my time photographically by culling through some older shots that I was too busy to attend to when I took them.

This photo features one of several white-faced ibises that make an annual appearance at Palo Alto Baylands every winter. Seemingly out of place in the Bay Area, there are always at least one or two that stop by for a couple of weeks. Usually, they hang out far into the marshes, but occasionally they come closer within camera distance. Then it becomes a game of patience.

I was watching this ibis for about an hour and a half as the sun was creeping toward the horizon behind me. With each passing minute, the light got sweeter, but my opportunity for getting a shot that stood out was vanishing. Then, just before the light started to fade, he made a quick thrust into the shallow water, and up came a small fish. He seemed quite proud of himself, and actually strutted around a bit with the fish before consuming it. All the while my shutter clicked away. This was my favorite photo from the day – a proud ibis with his fresh catch.