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Posts Tagged ‘Osprey with fish’

An osprey circled and circled overhead early Monday afternoon at Huntley Meadows Park and finally made a strike, pulling a good-sized fish out of the water. I captured the first shot as the osprey flew by me with its catch, which is just visible between the wings. In the second shot, the osprey was flying away over the trees.

Ospreys have recently reappeared at my favorite local marshland park and these are my first shots this spring at this location. The last couple of years they have shown up regularly enough that I wonder if there might be a nest somewhere in the park. I have wandered about in many remote areas of the park, but so far have not located a nest for the ospreys or for the bald eagles, which I also see pretty regularly in the park.

osprey

osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I inched my way forward yesterday when I spotted this bird in a tree at the edge of Lake Cook in Alexandria, Virginia. Gradually I came to see that it was an osprey (Pandion haliaetus) lunching on a fish. When I moved a few steps closer, however, it detected my presence and its reaction was quicker than mine—I couldn’t quite keep the osprey within the frame of my camera.

I have included an image of the osprey just before it took off to give you an idea of what I was seeing as I was doing my best to be stealthy. The eyesight and reactions of raptors is so good that it is really tough to get even this close. I suspect that in this case the osprey was slightly distracted because it was eating.

The osprey did not fly completely out of sight but perched in the highest branches of a tree on the other side of the small lake. There the osprey was able to continue its lunch without further interruptions.

osprey

osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I was thrilled when I caught an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in action today at Lake Cook in Alexandria, Virginia. I had seen one there a little over a week ago, so I was somewhat ready when I saw one circling overhead this afternoon. It didn’t take long for the osprey to pull out a pretty good sized fish—I think the lake is stocked with trout, though I really don’t know fish well enough to know if that is the type of fish that the osprey caught.

Although I knew that the osprey would eventually dive for a fish, I was a little slow in reacting when it finally did. In particular, I had difficulty reacquiring focus after the big splash so images like the final image below are a bit soft in focus. I was fortunate that there was a lot of sunlight and I was able to get some sharper images when the osprey flew higher in the sky.

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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A loud smack in the water yesterday afternoon at Lake Cook in Alexandria, Virginia caused me to turn my head and I was shocked when I saw an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) pull a fish out of the water—I though that all of the osprey had gone south for the winter months ago.

This encounter was a real test of my ability to react quickly. I had been watching some small birds in the bushes at the edge of the water when I heard the osprey’s impact with the water. My brain went into overdrive as I tried to figure out what had caused the sound, but simultaneously I was raising my camera to my eye and pointing it in the direction from which the sound had come. I didn’t have time to change the settings on the camera and was fortunate that they were more or less ok. My focus was set for single shot and not continuous focus, so many of my shots were not in focus and my shutter speed ended up at 1/500 sec, a bit too slow to freeze the action. Still, I am thrilled that I got a couple of decent shots out of the encounter.

After I posted a photo in a birding forum in Facebook, several local birders noted that osprey often return to the area in mid-February, so this osprey is only a bit of an early bird.

osprey

osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This osprey’s glare in my direction suggests that he is NOT willing to share the fish that he worked so hard to catch. (I already posted a shot of this osprey munching on the fish, but additional photos showing its facial expressions seemed too good not to share as well.)

Osprey

Sometimes, especially when I am in a hurry, I will quickly look through my recent photos, choose a single one I really like, and write a short post. That’s exactly what I did with the initial Freshly Caught Fish posting a few days ago. I knew that I had gotten some good shots of the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), who was so cooperative that I was able to set up my tripod, but I knew it was going to take a fair amount of time to look through the photos. It was nice to be able to use the tripod, but I learned how tough it is to shoot almost straight up with a long telephoto zoom—I was crouching and on my knees as I sought to look through the viewfinder.

I now have sorted through my photos from that morning and selected a few more that show the osprey as he was eating and as he was sending me unambiguous messages.

OspreyOspreyosprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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There is nothing quite like the taste of a freshly caught fish and this Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) seemed to be devouring its breakfast with gusto early on Saturday morning at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Virginia.

Osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) flew in my direction this morning at Huntley Meadows Park and landed in a tree, I had no idea that it was clutching a small fish. It was raining and I was trying to keep my gear dry, but the osprey was so close that I knew I had to try to get some shots. In fact, I was so close that when the bird opened its wings, I couldn’t fit the entire wingspan within the frame.

I noticed the fish in the talons of the right foot only later when I was reviewing the shots on my computer.

Osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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