Over the weekend I was down on the Cape for the first time in a couple of weeks. The weather was beautiful and a lot of people were around, but it seemed a little quiet. A lot of the birds had left. In particular, I noticed the osprey were gone.
Early in the summer only one parent would hunt at a time while the other stayed with the eggs or chick. By early September not only were both parent osprey hunting, the fledged chicks were joining them. At times I could see six or even eight at a time circling the ponds.
Not this weekend.
On my normal kayak ride I only saw one or two egrets at a distance and one great blue. Of the three swan families I only saw one.
I did see a few kingfisher, but as usual they didn’t let me get close.
I also kept seeing large bird of prey, but I was able to get many pictures.
Down on the beach most of the shorebirds were gone, but I did see a big bird fly by and then land some distance away. Here is the full uncropped picture using a zoom with a 35 mm equivalence of 600 mm. If you don’t know what that means, this is a telephoto lens that can bring the distant pretty close. As you can see, I wasn’t very close.
I slowly walked towards the bird, taking pictures as I approached. For the most part he didn’t pay much attention to me. I walked around to his front, still closing the distance. He began looking, but he didn’t seem bothered. He has his mouth open in one picture, but I never heard a sound so I don’t think he was warning me.
I took over 200 pictures as I approached. I never knew when close was be too close. Most of the time he had his back to me or he was grooming himself. He also was watching the ultralights flying over. Here is an uncropped picture of my closest approach. A bit closer than the first one, yes?
Check out the gallery at the bottom for more pictures of this immature peregrine falcon. Click on a picture to bring up the slide show.
Shortly before it was time to go home I was walking by a small lake and heard a familiar cry. One immature osprey was still in the area. I took almost 100 pictures of him as he circled and splashed into the pond. He was on the far side so the pictures didn’t come out, but here is a sample of some of the pictures (click to enlarge).
I can’t wait until next year when the osprey return. For now a whole new flock of bird species will be showing up in front of my camera. There’s no telling what I’ll post next.