Monday, January 05, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly #19

This week there was no question as to which bird I would post, but I didn't know that until it happened yesterday.

Last week, Mom wanted us to go birding somewhere today, but yesterday I wanted to go to the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, CA since it was a very nice, sunny (but cold) day and I looked ahead to Monday (today) and it was supposed to be cloudy and rainy in the afternoon. It is of course.

The Monarchs are for another post, so I'll just put one pic in as a preview :) What looks like several clumps of dead leaves are not.
Click this and all other photos to enlarge.

While at the Sanctuary, we heard a commotion from above. There were a bunch of Crows and Gulls squawking, and when we turned to look the direction of the sound, we were amazed at what we saw.

A Gull chasing a Red-tailed Hawk

A Crow chasing the Red-tail

A really obnoxious Crow dive-bombing the Red-tail - holy moly!

"The Money Shot" The hawk flew over our heads with the sun apparently in the perfect position for me to capture it's glowing through the feathers of the beautiful raptor!

And an overall pic how it looked when they weren't directly overhead. This one is full-scale and not cropped as the others were.

And finally, those lucky jerky Crows and Gulls won the day with the Red-tail flying away. I think in total there were 2 Gulls and 3 or 4 crows chasing the one Red-tail.

It was so thrilling, but that last shot is bittersweet.

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Mary C said...

It definitely was a thrill to watch it happening yesterday, wasn't it? It certainly was well worth the drive down to Pacific Grove and the Monarch Sanctuary.

Natural Moments said...

An exciting series of shots. And Pacific Grove is really beautiful too. I hope you got to see a lot of wildlife.

mick said...

That's a great series of photos and the one right overhead is brilliant!

Leedra said...

The light through the Hawk's wings is just awesome. Made the color show up perfect.

Zhakee said...

Great photos. That dive bombing image captures the essence of just how irritating those raptor pests can be, yes?

RuthieJ said...

Awesome photo of the Red-Tailed Hawk Red! I love seeing them but our crows around here don't like them much either.

Thursday's Child said...

That's so cool! Go Gulls and Crows! (I love hawks but it's always good to see the underdogs win.)

Sparverius said...

How incredible you were there close enough to capture it on your camera. I once watched a couple of crows mobbing a red-tail, but I never did see the red-tail fly off. They all went down over a ridge, and vanished. But it was fascinating to watch.

Red said...

@Mom... yep.. well worth the drive - both things were exciting.

@Bernie... saw some wildlife. See the next post for that. It was a small, citified area, so there wasn't a lot.

@Mick... Thank you! I'm quite pleased myself :) One day I'll learn to TRY for those shots, not rely on luck

@Leedra... Thanks Leedra... it was pure luck... I dream of a prime lens where I won't have to use 1000 ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed and still keep it crisp and light.

@Zhakee... for sure! I love all the raptors, crows included, but that time I was one the side of the Red-tail :)

@Ruthie... must be a world-wide disdain for the hawks in the bird world. Ffttt... as if the crows aren't plentiful enough, ya know?

@Thursday's Child... WELCOME! But booo... hiss ;)

@Sparverius... yep, perfect timing, perfect lighting... very incredible. Sorry yours disappeared too soon for you.


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