I was looking though my image library and stumbled upon this image of a female Reed Bunting. I remember the day I took this image and it was not for the right reasons! I had been sitting in the hide for 4 hours, it was freezing cold and I had been having such bad luck.
The hide I was in was perfect, with good views into the reed bed as well as a selection of feeders to keep me busy when everything else was quiet. After a stint of watching and photographing a few Reed Buntings I heard a commotion to my right. Slowly I turned to see a male Sparrowhawk sitting on a branch only 8 or so feet away with a Blue tit in its talons. As slowly as humanly possible I moved my camera up to my eye and pressed the button to lock focus when to my horror nothing happened! I lifted my finger off and pressed again hoping, praying for it to work and yet still nothing.
As a wildlife photographer being able to change settings whilst holding your camera to your eye is natural and so I slowly checked all of the setting and switches on my lens and camera whilst still watching carefully through the viewfinder. Locating the problem ( I had knocked the switch on the front of my camera from auto focus to manual) I pressed the button and my heart sank… The engagement of the autofocus spooked the Sparrowhawk and he flew off behind the hide not to be seen again for the rest of the day. Sometimes you just have a bad day!
However when I finally got home I was pleasantly surprised as my images of the Reed Buntings had come out better than I had originally thought making the day in the freezing cold definitely worth it!