Posts tagged “Osprey

Fish To Go

Bolinas Lagoon, CA.

14 Hours at the Point (Part 5)

There were plenty of Osprey at Cape May too. This one gave all the hawk watchers a great look as it circled back to hunt the pond in front of the platform.

Wigeons look on while the Osprey lines up to strike.

Osprey almost always disappear into the water before emerging with or without a fish. The impact is impressive.

With a heavy fish in tow, the wing loading is evident on this distant bird as its primaries cope with the weight.

Turned into the wind, the fish becomes more aerodynamic and the Osprey’s flight becomes much easier.

Paddling Bolinas Lagoon

I took to the lagoon for a maiden voyage in my solo canoe last Saturday. It was wonderful. Glass calm water and a four foot tide meant I could explore far and wide. And as I suspected… I was being followed. A few seals broke off from the pack and quietly shadowed me for most of the next hour.

An Osprey hurtles into the shallows while beach-goers wander in the distance.

Rising to try its luck again.

I heard a familiar and adrenaline inducing scream and looked up into the sky to find it bird free. When I glanced onshore I saw a vocal young Peregrine Falcon next to a large adult female.

It took off and powered away after a flock of shorebirds near Highway one. I was camped in my canoe fixated on the adult as the current slowly drifted me along.

She seemed comfortable, preening often and calmly looking in the direction of her departed fledgling.

She gave a stretch and took off, flying a wide arc over the marsh before climbing and setting off toward the same flock of shorebirds. It was a wonderful and unexpected encounter on a grey, still, and lovely day. I can’t wait to get out there again.

The Hunter

An Osprey on final approach at the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon.

Kayaking Estero Americano

A friend and I kayaked to the ocean at Estero Americano a few weeks ago. The round trip is about 11-12 miles and it can be rough if the wind picks up. We were lucky to be exploring this wonderful estuary for the first time under fairly ideal conditions. On several occasions the shimmering water turned into a flock of White Pelicans that would slowly rise and pass overhead, wings hissing in the wind.

The beach was spectacular and completely empty on a Saturday. The lack of access by anything other than boats means we got the beach to ourselves.

We came across this Osprey with its attending vulture and gull. They were waiting for scraps but it seems the Osprey ate every last bit.

It was a really striking bird. It may have been the light but this bird looked really sharp. Check out that bulging crop.

It eventually relocated and then did something surprising.

It started washing its feet on the wing then it dipped its head to clean its bill as it flew.

Sorry to end on a strange semi-grisly note but I thought this young pelican feeding on the carcass of a sea lion or seal was both gruesome and fascinating. I hear their diet switches primarily to fish once the become adults but as kids they tend to eat whatever they can find.

Predation Series #11

An Osprey takes flight at Bolinas Lagoon.