The wildfires in our area have been extinguished, the smoke has cleared and the wind has remained as it will until the first of September. We’ll have a few calm days if the past is any prediction of the future. San Francisco is a foggy town during July/August, true to form it has arrived in time for July 4th.
A grass fire has just started about 15 miles from me, it appears to be rapidly put under control.
The Osprey decided to make himself the center of attention today over the slough. He made many passes, some at nose bleed heights others nearer to Terra Firma. He was being chased by every small nesting bird in the area but it didn’t seem to bother him too much. Unlike the Corvids who fight them every inch of the way until finally tossing in the towel and landing on the ground. The Osprey is not shaken by them and doesn’t hesitate to peck them in return.
It was my belief nest building has been completed but obviously this one is carrying nesting materials. Perhaps it dedicated to repair the nest, it makes me wonder if there are Chicks in it. I did not see either one diving for fish or having one in it’s beak. It appeared to be merely a stick collecting sortie.
They are big birds easily dominating the sky for as long as they fly. He was circling from one Levee to the other making quite a show of it. But that still doesn’t make taking pictures of them in flight any easier. He flies against the winds as effortlessly as when it’s to his back. Neither does the 25 mph wind seem to slow him down, the Osprey uses it to soar. Soaring is good for the photographer to take head on shots, however that is a skill all of it’s own. If the lighting and angle to the camera is not correct the head gets buried in colors.
Some of the photos were taken at the maximum distance of my lens (150-400mm Tamron) of 125 yards. Of course as is human nature I squeezed as much out of it as I am able to. But it doesn’t work often because it doesn’t matter what I want it’s all about what the subject and the camera does. I take pictures of far off subjects anyway for pratice tracking and initiating my trigger points. Which are certain spots I pick out to stop tracking and begin holding the shutter. I am able to take 10 images per second which sounds like a lot but in practice one learns to ration them out or the best shot may be missed.
This image was taken Yesterday June 25, 2022 as he hunted on the = far side Levee. I went through many bird ID books and was unable to identify it. I do know some species it isn’t but with millions of birds in the world that doesn’t amount to much. The colors are off for it to be a Peregrine Falcon or Osprey, it appears more on the Kite side of the road; I’m just not sure at all. Those large eyes are a key feature of its appearance. I watched a video of a bird matching this one fighting a Bobcat, unfortunately the video taker did not ID the bird. A valuable clue was noticeable, this Hawks (?) head is level with the Bobcats back above the front legs. That makes it about 2 feet tall standing upright on the ground. I’ll keep searching for it’s identity and post it.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance