Sunday, July 26, 2009

First osprey images with my new camera

 When the repairman at the shop told me my camera would not be ready until sometime next week, I looked ahead to a camera-less weekend (my teeny one just didn't cut it), and made a quick decision to go through with a plan that has been brewing for a while.  I bought a new one.  No details for now.  There were some disappointments, as I realized I wasn't actually getting any closer to my subjects than with the last camera.  Bill comforted me, saying that my cropped photos would have better detail, and also adding that I can buy a 2X attachment that will bring the images much closer.  He was right about the cropping, and all in all, I'm fairly satisfied with the day's results.  

I still have a very long way to go before I know what I'm doing, but here are my first attempts, all taken in North Vancouver, near my school.

This, I think, was my best shot of the day.  Mama is sitting on the nest with Junior (any suggestions for names?) as Papa comes in with a sunfish. 
The rest of the pictures are in the order taken.  The seals were entertaining as always.
I think this might be a parent and wayward child.  There was quite a scuffle as the young one came quite close to where I was standing.  (The tide was out, so that meant much closer than the seals normally swim.)  The larger one chased it back to a safer distance, growling all the while.
I waited for almost two hours for Papa Osprey to return, the longest I've ever seen him stay away from the nest.  In the meantime, I tested out the camera on other attractions.  I like the sparkly wave here, and the seagull, in my happy interpretation, looking forward to the ride.
I told you that I waited for two hours.  What I didn't mention is that Bill, with not even a hint of complaint (he did say he was doing Python programs in his head), looked after Black Jack, encouraged me when I felt discouraged, clambered back up the rocks to his truck to get my tripod (which was too small for the job), and this after driving me to North Van through heavy downtown traffic.  I need a new word.  "Thank you" is inadequate for the kindness and patience Bill shows.  He really is worth his weight in platinum (The highest value metal I know of:)  In this picture, Black Jack was amusing Bill with her prancing and dancing, as she tried to play with a sparkly reflection that she perceived to be alive.
Black Jack really loves to play around the shore line.  She was a tiny bit fed up after more than two hours, but overall, she managed to do a good job of keeping herself entertained (with a little help from Bill).
The seagulls gave me lots of practice in following flight.  
This wasn't such a great photo, except that I thought there were great possibilities for amusing dialogue.  All suggestions welcome.
Junior, himself.  A gentleman was there when I arrived, although he finally gave up on waiting for Papa.  He described Junior as "an ugly little thing" which I suppose, from some viewpoints, could be true, but to me, he's absolutely beautiful
Papa finally did arrive.  I thought this family shot had possibilities for dialogue as well.  Something along the lines of: Mama -  "Dear, he's getting to be quite a handful.  I really wish you would hang around a bit more."
Junior - "Man, they're talking about me again.  I can't wait to move outa here."  
"Just today, he (whisper, whisper)..."  
Here, I can't really make out where Junior's head is.  He seemed to topple over, and Mama didn't appear to be very sympathetic at all.
"I can fly..  almost."
"I thought you'd never get here."
"Feed me.  NOW."
"Where are you going?"
I learned from Ship Rock that Mama has a necklace (darkish mottling across her chest).  He is a fountain of knowledge, as well as a great photographer and a generous human being, happy to share what he has learned by dint of hours and hours of observation.  It's well worth your time to check out his photos at this link.
I think it must be quite the challenge to begin to understand how to manipulate those large wings.  Junior almost seems to be kneeling in this one.  I'll be watching him regularly and hoping he fledges successfully.  I have no idea when that will be, but he sure is growing quickly.  In just the couple of weeks since I have begun watching him, he has easily doubled in size.
Thanks for reading.  Part of the fun of taking pictures is reading your comments and getting to share a bit of my learning process.  Thanks also to Bill for his endless patience and kindness.  I know I said it once, but it bears repeating:)


  1. Ooooh a new camera - I am so envious! And that first shot is magnificent!

    Dialogue for the pic with seal:

    Dark bird (commorant?) to seagull:
    "Really, Seagy, you must take a diversity workshop. There's no reason you and Mr. Seal can't get along."

  2. I agree with Jean, that first shot is amazing. When clicked on to enlarge, you see even more detail that your new camera caught of the Osprey's talons and the fish (which looks almost tropical). It's no wonder Ospreys are Raptors, because it sure has it's talons "wrapped" around that poor fish.

  3. Carol you have nothing to complain about the images of the osprey are amazing. You should see my first and last of the osprey, it was some bird in the sky if I didn't know, lol, but I was satisfied because I saw one. Excellent work Carol, and congrats on the new camera. Anna :)

  4. Happy camera lady!! I love the ongoing story of baby osprey. Here are some suggestions for names... Oliver, or Olive ( if you think the chick is female); Andrew or Alice; Rupert or Rosie; Pierre or Penelope!

  5. Hi, Carol
    Found the bikesbirdsnbeasts card in my wallet today, and found your Blog site.

    I really don't do too much blogging. But if you would like to see some of my pictures, click on:

    and click your way from picture to picture, including 'all sizes' or to the 'Slide Show' option.

    Cheers, Shiprock aka Roy

  6. Hi Carol,

    What are you complaining about? There is nothing wrong with your new camera haha. It worked fine, captured well enough. Look at the ospreys, and the others they looked so photogenic! Now, what can you say?

    Take care and say to BJ for me.

    BTW I have a new pup, I'll post about him later. He looked like little Scott.

    AL and Coffee

  7. Carol that first shot of the osprey is phenomenal! I'm awestruck, stupefied... you get the picture (hahaha... do you ever!) xox Cristina

  8. Thanks for the comments, everyone:)

    Jean, Great dialogue! I You really do have an eye for humor. I'm still chuckling over your description in your last post of Oliver's walking style.

    Bill, would you believe I never connected "wrap" and "rap" until I read that link?

    Anna, I am spoiled to have an osprey nest that close and so visible. I continue to marvel at your photos and really appreciate your tips in your blogs. Any readers seeing this comment, it is well worth taking time to check out Anna's story blog and her photo blog.

    Phyllis, those are great names! I particularly love Rupert or Rosie, and there's a good ring to Olive or Oliver, the osprey. I think I may ask in my next post for opinions between those two, if I can ever figure out if the baby is male of felmale. Maybe Shiprock can tell me.

    Roy, I'm glad you found me:) I used google after I first met you, and found your pictures at that address. If you click on the words: "this link" in my post, it goes right to your site. Every single one of your pictures is just spectacular. How on earth do you do it? I've been trying to get a photo of the tree swallows at Jericho, but I am never fast enough, and those hummingbirds - oh my!

    Al, I'm very excited to hear about your new pup. Today, I also checked out your other blog about the beaches and islands in the Philippines. You live in an amazing place!

    Cristina, you make me laugh. I can picture you writing that comment and chuckling:)

  9. Amazing pictures!! You have really outstanding camera!! I'm pretty impressed with it's picture quality!!