Wildlife is unpredictable. Wildlife photography is too. In one hand, there is a lot of planning involved: getting to know your subject, the food it likes, the time of day is more active, what habitats it prefers and so on. There is also skills involved: what exposure to use, how to camouflage correctly but above all, wildlife photography is about persistance and obsessive pursuit; the more you are out there shooting the more chances you have to get that great shot. But at the end of the day, you never know exactly what will happen or where the animal is going to be.
Last week while shooting birds in Colorado at -22 Fahrenheit I had a lucky break. I had just spotted a female Downy Woodpecker on a tree and I hid my self the best I could to give it space. The bird flew into a near branch where the light was much better (first lucky break) and I started shooting away. Maybe 20 seconds later the bird flew away never to be seen again.
When the session finished and I was back in the warmth of the cary, I reviewed the images on my camera screen and noticed that a male Pine Grosbeak had flown by and miraculously had enter the frame into my photo, in the perfect place to help my composition. I can only take a third of the credit for this shot. The other 2 thirds are equally deserved by two birds that, in the coldest day I have ever experienced, decided to collaborate.