The following morning I woke with a smile thinking about my encounter with the fox and wondered what the morning would bring. Looking out the bedroom window quickly removed that smile as it was foggy and rainy once again but I wasn't going to get any shots laying in bed so off I went.
The day's plan was to check out some old friends. Each year Terrenceville is home to a number of nesting Osprey, Eagles and a pair of Northern Harriers. My first stop on my way out of Terrenceville is what the locals call the Meadow. Its a strip of land that reaches pretty much all the way across the bay. Its been a great location to see many different species of birds but this particular morning things were quite so I decided to turn around when I noticed this Osprey sitting on a tree top as the fog was lifting. He was looking for a nice morning breakfast no doubt.
Along the main road into Terrenceville there are around 4 to 5 nesting pairs of Osprey. One pair in particular I have been watching for about 3 years now. I've had a photography blind setup near the nesting site for sometime now and I have been able to watch them raise their young and I have come way with some amazing shots without disturbing them. Unfortunately they did not return to their nest site this year. I have the feeling they have not returned at all. The rest of the Osprey have been busy maintaining their nest and some of them are on eggs. Its amazing that these Osprey breed right along the road side. I grabbed a few images while parked on the shoulder of the road as they would leave or return from the nest to gather material or a nice meal.
My next stop was the Harrier nest site. Last year I was lucky enough to spot this Northern Harrier female as she landed not 10 feet from the roadside in a patch of alders which turned out to be her nest. I spent three days with her and it was an amazing experience. This year I have relocated the pair (you can read more about them in my previous post called the Harrier Experience) along the same road that heads into Terrenceville. Things were quite on their end of things this trip as I suspected. I would assume at this point the female is on her nest and will be for another few weeks so spotting her would not be easy. I spent sometime driving back and forth the road trying to catch a glimpse of the male out hunting. As things were looking down and I was on my way back into town I noticed a flash of white as the male twisted and dove down to the ground. I pulled over on the shoulder of the road and jumped out as he lifted from the ground empty handed and l let off a few shots. It all happened so quickly and to my disappointment I had not adjusted my settings and my shutter speed was at 1/500s not enough to completely freeze the subject so this is the image I came way with. Keep in mind this might look sharp but its not. Zoomed in it has a slight blur due to the fact that I should have had more shutter speed.
There is a lesson that I normally stick by and that is always always always check your settings before you head out or as you move from one subject to the next. In searching for the male hunting I should have set my shutter to 1/1000s for inflight shots. I did not and in turn I missed my best Male Harrier inflight shot to date. Lesson learned...
The morning was moving along quickly and I still wanted to head up to see the eagle's nest so back down the road I went to Jenelle's parents house. Behind their house is a step cliff that leads to a waterfall to the far right. For a few years now it has seemed that a pair of Eagles have been trying to nest their but with no success. This year they have finally settled in and finished building their nest. It is roughly a 20min walk up hill to the nest sight but the beauty about it is the noise from the waterfall masks any sound made by me as I push through the dense forest. Looking over the cliff edge and across the waterfall their they nest on the base of a fallen tree that hangs over the edge.
Its great to see that they have two young. I don't stay long in case they spot me looking down on them. On the way back I took a trail leading over the back country and more in the open. At one moment I turned around and noticed the male eagle on his perch keeping a watchful eye on me as I walked away.
As you can see in the above image dark clouds where moving in and so did the rain which ended the day for me.
As the trip came to an end I was able to capture a decent shot of a Golden-Crown Kinglet in the trees behind the house which is my first time photographing this species. If you have never seen a kinglet before boy are they small birds.
I also grabbed a close up of a common loon while the rain was falling which didnt create the best image but it reminded me that it will soon be time to head out to the loon nest site at the end of the month.
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