Is this a Red Tailed Hawk or an Osprey?

Is this a Red Tailed Hawk or an Osprey?

This morning my special little area of the Intracoastal waterway was chock full of birds. The first ones I came across were the ducks, they really are quite friendly. They were pretty amusing today when I spied them listening to a barrage of bird calls, and they were loud. I think they were partying back there in the canal, it’s too shady to really see anything down there so I couldn’t tell “who” was making all the noise.

The ducks listen to the barrage of bird calls.

The ducks listen to the barrage of bird calls.

Then I looked up and saw a Red Tailed Hawk (I think, too much mottling on the belly to be an Osprey, right? It’s hard to tell from the photo) making a wide loop, high above my head. I immediately switched to manual focus, because auto focus just doesn’t seem to “get it” when you’re after a small spec in a solid blue sky, using 400 mm of magnification. I was able to get a few shots off before the bird flew out of sight. Only the photograph at the top came close to being in focus, and it’s also cropped pretty tightly. Here’s a shot of an Osprey from last week when I was able to get closer. It was a cloudy day too, that helps a lot with lowering the contrast.


My friend the Osprey hanging out on one of her favorite perches.

My friend the Osprey hanging out on one of her favorite perches.

The next visitor to the area was an Ibis. The tree he landed on, one of the Osprey’s regular haunts, is fairly high, so I wasn’t able to get in that close. I did get a great shot of the same type of bird several days before that was at much closer range. You can really see the detail in the birds features in that photo. This bird was watching me, more curiously I think, than from fright.

Today the Ibis was high atop a dead branch.

Today the Ibis was high atop a dead branch.

This is the image from several days ago, I think it was the same cloudy day I got the photo of the Osprey.

This is the shot of the Ibis I got last week.

This is the shot of the Ibis I got last week.

I decided to get out of the water at this point because the tide was getting a little bit too high to be standing in with thousands of dollars worth of equipment. So I walked up along the dock to get the long view. Seconds later a flock of Ibis came flying over to the big dead branch in the water by the canal. Again, I should have stayed put on my rock, I would have been so very much closer. Live and learn. The antics these birds were displaying were hilarious. I had a great time shooting away. Check out the poses. Too darned funny, if you ask me.

You gotta love the crossed legs on this white Ibis as he comes in for a landing.

You gotta love the crossed legs on this white Ibis as he comes in for a landing.

This fellow slams it into reverse to prep for his landing. Flaps down, reverse engines captain.

He uncrosses his legs and spreads his toes to prep for landing.

He uncrosses his legs and spreads his toes to prep for landing.

Yes! Another safe landing and another job well done.

This Ibis mad a safe, graceful landing.

This Ibis made a safe, graceful landing.

Right after that, one of the brown Ibis and a Snowy Egret had a showdown for perch space. The Ibis lost, but not without a good effort. Birds are all about the highest and best location. Aren’t we all?

The Ibis takes a run at the Snowy Egret.

The Ibis takes a run at the Snowy Egret.

Ibis loses to Snowy Egret while competing for the best perch space.

Ibis loses to Snowy Egret while competing for the best perch space.

Next on the roster was my Osprey friend, I caught a glimpse of her at the top of a dead tree quite a way up the Intracoastal. I took a few shots, but she was too far away to get anything good. A short while later I saw her fly off her perch and head north away from me. Time to go home. I felt I had a successful day of shooting birds! Until my next post, which I will try to make on HDR photography, Bye! Happy shooting… M

PS. My site is still down, I am not a happy camper about that! They tell me they are working around the clock.

"My" Osprey hanging out high upon her perch.

"My" Osprey hanging out high upon her perch.

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