A few weeks ago, I went to Anchorage and searched for a specific bird. I'd been looking for it for two years, all while admiring photos others had posted of it.
I was getting discouraged. Finally, I received corrected directions and looked some more. Nothing.
I was getting even more discouraged, as this bird--a red-throated loon--was said to swim right up to you, making some great opportunities for close ups. I got in the car and started to leave, when a bird flew in front of me and landed in the grass.
Oh, well, I thought. May as well see what this is. It turned out to be a robin, but in following it along the edge of the lake, I spotted the loon.
I sat down on a timber and aimed my big lens at it. I got off only a few frames, when suddenly, the loon was swimming underwater figure eights RIGHT BESIDE ME!
It surfaced just a few feet away, far too close for my big lens. I pulled out a pocket camera and snapped away.
I didn't expect much from the photos. The day was overcast, the light dull, and rain was falling.
I was astonished to see what I'd captured when I downloaded the photos. It just goes to prove that while you don't always get what you want, sometimes something else is much better.