These shots were taken after the Black Skimmers third pass. If you’re lucky a Skimmer will be catching enough fish to create a routine on where they skim the surface.
Watching for a pattern is probably one of the few things that can help get a shot. That pattern, usually twists and turns. In this case he flew along the marsh edge, turned away from us through an opening, and suddenly came right by. Basically left to right, with a twist.
From our point of view it meant catching the bird coming in from the right at maximum focal length, then as he disappeared pull back to almost the minimum length. The next return path was that close.
The good news was once the Skimmer was past us we had a few minutes before the next try. It was a big marsh he was working. Time to plan, and laugh. Which we did plenty of, well mostly laugh.