Cathy and I took a walk on the beach this morning, heading east. We stopped for a while to enjoy the tail end of the church service on the beach and then continued as far as the pier. On our way back, as we neared out cottage, we saw a bird circling over the water and occasionally diving for fish. As we got closer we were able to identify it as an osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and I was able to get a few pretty nice pictures, considering I only had a 100mm lens. I had thought about the possibility of renting a longer lens for this trip but decided against it. Birds are fine to photograph but really, this trip is not about wildlife photography, so I decided to put it off for another trip.
Tagged With: Raptor
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
I had a doctor’s appointment this morning and didn’t get to work until about 11:30. As I turned into the parking lot, I glanced to my right and sitting on a fallen tree limb was this hawk. I pulled into the space facing the bird but my camera was in the trunk and I knew if I opened my door, the bird would fly off. There is a small opening in the middle of the back seat that lets me get into the trunk, however, and I very quietly lowered my seat, reached through and got my camera. I took the first photo through the windscreen, which turned out reasonably well. I then lowered my window and leaned out and was able to get a few photos before he (or she) flew off into the woods. I believe it’s a Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) rather than a sharp-shinned (Accipiter striatus), based on its size. Interestingly, both species are reverse size dimorphic, that is, the females are larger than the males.
I had an appointment with my ophthalmologist this afternoon so left work a little early to go to that. When I was done, I would have gone straight home but I had two errands to run first. I went to the Kentlands shopping center, first to the Giant and then to Lowe’s. As I was coming out of Giant I glanced up into the small sycamore tree by the parking lot and saw this hawk. I nonchalantly walked by and got my camera out of my trunk. I got one photo of the hawk as it flew off but it landed again only a few trees over. I don’t think this is as good a photo as yesterday’s hawk picture, but it’s not bad. I think this one is a sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus), the smaller cousin to yesterday’s Cooper’s.
It’s been a good year for bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) sightings. A little under a month ago (see Sunday, February 27, 2022) I got a photo of one of the nesting eagles flying over the nest. Today one of them flew right over our heads and then landed in a tree on our side of Lake Frank. I wasn’t able to get an unimpeded view but I was able to get relatively close. I’d still be happy to have a longer lens but I think this is pretty nice. Of course we’d see these on a daily basis in Juneau, but around hear, this sort of sighting is still somewhat rare and exciting.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
There’s a golf course a little way towards South Carolina from where we stay at the beach that has a pond we call Alligator Pond. There is a pull-off and a boardwalk that overlooks the pond, although there’s so much growing up between the boardwalk and the pond it’s mostly a lost cause. But there is a small opening in the bushes and we often see alligators there. As we pulled in I looked up and saw a bald eagle flying away from the pond. It was gone long before I could get to my camera. There were, however, two ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) that circled for quite a while and I was able to get one pretty decent photo. We also did see an alligator and around the pond were both egrets and wood storks.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
We went to the farm park for a short visit today. I got a few photos of bluebirds, both male and female (Sialia sialis), a red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and a sparrow or other small bird that I can’t identify. I decided to go with this shot of a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), though. Taking photos of birds on the wing is challenging at the best of times. With my long—150–600mm—lens, it’s even more challenging. The lens is quite heavy and getting it aimed at the bird, much less focused is pretty hit or miss. Mostly miss. This one turned out pretty well and I got a few more just about the same, so I’m please with that.