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thanks everyone - shooting these guys was a lot of fun!
i was completely amazed at how proficient these guys are as hunters. i simply could not believe the frequency with which they surfaced with fish. many of the fish were very large and it was only after much struggling that the birds were able to eat them. also, once one bird surfaces with a fish, the others start chasing him/her around and it causes all kinds of ruckus. most of this occurred out of shooting range but i think i will go back to this spot again in the next week or so should i find time.
it was also tough to get good backgrounds on these shots. there are houses all long the river that cause ugly white reflections on the water (versus the natural greens/brown tones that i want). i had to wait for the birds to swim/fly between the houses reflections; i lost a lot of good shots where i was unable to do this.
the below photo shows what i'm talkin' about - completely unprocessed, just converted right to jpeg.
this is what i am talking about - this one might be workable though - others were much worse!