I mentioned in a post yesterday that I hadn’t seen any Red-shouldered Hawks close up in months. I was delighted to see a second one in much better light just a half hour after that shot.
A Red-shouldered Hawk was perched just off the trail I was walking last week. This is the first one I’ve seen close up in months.
I saw the dive but I didn’t see the Osprey go into the pond to catch this fish as my view was blocked by a tree. Osprey can completely submerge and work really hard to break free of the water, harder if they caught something. Other times I have witnessed this the Osprey would then make a bee-line for a tree or other secure spot to eat.
Back in my line of sight he shook several times, lightening his load of the excess water while hanging firmly onto lunch. Then he circled around the pond several times with his catch, undecided about where to go.
What he probably knew that I didn’t until a couple minutes later was he was about to be chased by a pair of Bald Eagles hoping to lighten his load. Suddenly he decided to head for the trees and the last I saw of them the Osprey was in the lead.
After watching a Bald Eagle pair sit quietly in a tree for more than a half hour a photographer friend I was with said “you know as soon as we leave …”
And he was right.
I was fortunate to still have a clear view, if not the best focus.
Feet tucked up for flight, away he went.
After watching this Bald Eagle pair for awhile and getting plenty of images I moved my position to try for some different angles. This first one was from the path directly below the tree where I could see his feet and abundant tail feathers.
From the side of the pond behind them I had a different rear-end view. Both Eagles were intent on looking towards the river, not on giving me a profile shot.
Going back to my original spot I was able to see the upper Eagle though the branches. The better angle, looking up at this perch from the other side is completely blocked by trees.
Shortly after I took the image in my post “Bald Eagle Calling His Mate” I spotted another Eagle flying into the tree line.
By this time the first Eagle had also moved and I’m not sure which one was which. When you’re watching nature unfold through a lens sometimes you miss part, or all, of the action!
This flying Eagle landed in the lower position of the tree and they both settled in.
From this vantage point they can see up and down the Ashley River, the action on several small ponds on this property, and into a marsh on the other side of the river.
And look they do, both turning their heads regularly, but overall content to perch right there.
This Barred Owl struck up a nice pose on a broken tree stump off a trail in the woods behind the bamboo garden at Magnolia Plantation.
If Ted hadn’t seen the Owl fly into the area we might have passed on by without spotting him.
The dike where I took Black Vultures sitting in this tree takes a 90 degree turn which gave me a different vantage point for this post’s images. The sun was now behind the birds and it was very hazy.
The outline of the tree and birds is pretty interesting, as is the postion of the two Vultures seen here. The third Vulture is in that clump in the middle in the first image.
It was morning, before 9am, so I was surprised to see these Black Vultures hunkered down in this dead tree. Perhaps they had been the early birds and already completed breakfast.
It was hot (82 F/ 28 C) and hazy, so resting was probably a good idea but some spot that was less exposed to the sun might have been a better choice.
This dead tree has lost a pretty good chunk since the last time I photographed birds here… Wood Storks in a Dead Tree