Stalking Osprey in Perdido Key
Before my family session tonight in Perdido Key, I visited the Gulf Island National Seashore in Perdido Key hoping to get some osprey photographs. My main goal was to get some pictures of the osprey fishing. I saw a couple of them flying over Big Lagoon so I settled in for the show but they were not having good luck fishing. They would make their dives but they kept coming up empty. I knew how they felt because I have had plenty of fishing trips like that myself.
Osprey have a distinct call and I heard the chirping of one behind me that was really close. Looking up I saw an osprey that was perched on a pine limb, and was drying its feathers out by unfolding its wings and facing into the stiff breeze. I walked into position to get a clear view. The osprey kept making its call, but it wasn't the stressful call like a nesting osprey parent would make. Seeing as it didn't have a fish, but was drying its feathers out, I imagine it was frustrated for working hard and having nothing to show so it was venting a bit.
This osprey was not bothered by my presence. I watched and photographed it for about 30 minutes and it almost seemed like it was posing for me, but I know that wasn't happening. Every few minutes it would fly to a new perch.
I went back to watching the diving osprey and they were still not catching fish. At this time a great blue heron wondered up hoping to get bait fish from a guy throwing a castnet. The heron was having the same luck as the osprey as it didn't get anything from the netter. After this stop I drove down the beach and watched the nesting terns for a few minutes before my family session.
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