The osprey drew the attention of a little blue heron and ring-billed gull. Wow, what a cool bird I thought to myself, I wonder if we'll see any more?
Sure enough, only an hour later, we made our way to the beach. I put the long lens on the camera before heading out, hoping to get some shore bird images. I wasn't disappointed. And from the east came a fantastic osprey clinging to another sheepshead with its huge talons.
The next morning I went on my photo scouting mission of the island, even though I was sick as ever with a fever hovering around 101. I pulled into the island lighthouse parking area, and this nest platform towered above everything except the lighthouse. An osprey nest, quite a piece of construction.
And as I walked out on the fishing pier near the parking lot, I noticed these pro photographers with their Nikons pointed at the nest. I didn't have time to stick around and wait for the osprey, but after looking at the shot above more closely, I'm sure they were waiting for good shots of a male returning to the nest with a big fat fish, possibly feeding it to juveniles below the mom. In the field, I couldn't see the sitting mother, only when I got back and examined the photo more closely did she pop out at me. Yes, the picture below is the same exact photo as the one above, just cropped to ~%100. The clarity of the crop really demonstrates just how sharp Canon's 400 5.6L lens really is.
And the next day, still sicker than a dog, another osprey decided to give me one of the best photographic opportunities I've had. Unfortunately it didn't quite turn out like I wanted it to- with several blurry images and no fish for the osprey. But boy was it cool watching this bird dive down into the canal only about 20 feet from where I was watching from my plastic green lawn chair, again, sicker than a dog. (Pardon the expression, dog lovers!)
This bird paused for a moment, after adjusting its wings, and all of the sudden, WHAM!