Can the D500 AF keep up with an incoming Peregrine Falcon?

I am not so sure. But I will learn for myself if the 200-500/D500 combo, set at AF-C can acquire and hold in AF an incoming Peregrine. It will take time, multiple outing.  

And I am no expert but it has been my experience with these birds that they often will fly right by me, after I have been watching them for some time. Today, January 16, 2017, was my first attempt at this. I knew of this Peregrine’s whereabouts from outings in past years. On outings of the last two days, I was able to locate it perched, basking in the winter sun.

When it took to flight I should not have been surprised that it came right in my direction and continued straight at me, flying right over my head at at distance of about 20 feet.  

The combo I was shooting did not acquire the bird, but I can vary my technique and next time I will hopefully get the acquistition at least:  Holding it is another separate task for the AF system.

I was shocked at how fast this bird closed the 300+ yard distance between us…..and then it just silently passed right over my head.

I did get a few images, but they were all out of focus, excepting maybe the ones following it, after it passed me.  

I am curious now, why was the combo able to acquire the out-flying falcon and not the in-flying falcon?

 

More later.  I am going out again today.

 

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