I will be the first to admit that I am not a birder. I came to be interested in photographing birds on a trip to Costa Rica in 2014. My brother-in-law Stuart, an avid birder since he was very young, showed his knowledge of birds by identifying them and pointing us to their locations, and describing their characteristics.
Since then, I have photographed some 400 species of birds in our travels. These photos were not taken on any specialty bird tours. The birds were at places we traveled.
For example, we were on an African safari looking for animals to photograph. More than 120 species of birds flew by as our vehicle tracked across the vast landscape. All I did was click the shutter. Even though I had no idea the names of the birds, I observed just one cardinal rule – Shoot first, then ask later!
Here is a photographer’s lament:
Why are the birds so small, so far away in the shaded tallest tree in the late evening and my lens is so short?
When the opportunity arrives, I will utilize the camera's fast film rate to capture the poetic motion of these large birds.  
Arctic Terns are fiercely defensive of their nests, attacking invaders (including humans) by pecking at their heads or worse. I decided to test their ferocity. Within seconds of my approach, a dozen of them took flight to harass me with dives and loud squawks. I covered my head with my raincoat hood to avoid being pecked. I pointed the camera upwards and viewed the situation with the articulated screen. The terns swooped over my head to intimate me.
I took 305 high-speed shots (24 frames a second) and during the last two frames, one of them poop-bombed me, missing the lens by a centimetre but the white warm slush covered my left hand. Sounds disgusting, but I deserved it with a well-rewarded photo below.

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