Tuesday, April 9, 2013
These are doubtless the worst photos I've ever posted…but they're all I managed of an osprey feeding earlier this morning.
I was working at the desk when movement along the river caught my eye. I glanced out the window and saw a large white, gray, tan bird plummet into the water. At first I thought it was a Canada goose, as the geese have been flapping up and downstream since daylight. But even as that thought crossed my mind, I knew whatever it was wasn't a goose, since it was pitching at rather than falling into or merely settling onto the surface. I began grabbing for the camera I always keep on the desk's corner…already turned on, set at a high ISO and fast shutter, awaiting whatever "snatch-and-snap" opportunity might come along.
From sighting to shooting maybe took three seconds—and that includes manual focusing.
The osprey plunged into the water with a great splash about forty feet upstream of the stretch you see in the top image. Then, wings outstretched, it floated downstream on the current until just before reaching the point visible in the second image—where it lifted up and off the surface, flew low for maybe a hundred feet farther downstream, rose higher, and flew out of view around the end of the island.
In case you're wondering, I'm pretty sure the fish the bird's holding is a white sucker in spawning colors.
The third shot—the very worst!—is actually the first of the series, included only because it sorta shows the bird's head—that is if you squint and can somehow make anything out among those blurred pixels. Which isn't easy, alas! Not only are these ISO 1800 shots, made in a hurry, but they're also only a very small cropped portion of the actual image. Perhaps an expert Photoshop manipulator could pull a lot more from such lousy material; at best, I'm, a PS Elements duffer.