Raptors: the Winter Collection

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AlwynS Senior Member • Posts: 2,795
Raptors: the Winter Collection
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During the height of our recent stormy weather I was kept busy by the Hummingbirds by our feeder. Today, however, dawned much warmer (well, just less cold actually) and we also had several hours of sunshine. I decided to venture back out into the open again in search of raptors that would make use of the improved weather.

One thing became very clear, very quickly: while it was a good day for raptors, it was a really, really bad day for the voles that live in the marsh behind the dyke!

Note that most photographs are posted at 3940 x 2160 resolution. Because the birds were mostly off in the distance, photographs are best viewed at original size to better see what is happening.

It actually started before I left the house: saw this juvenile Bald Eagle land in a tree behind our house. End of vole #1.... Photograph taken from our bedroom window:

When I got to the dyke it turned out that there were lots of Bald Eagles of all ages. Unfortunately they were mostly over by the edge of the ocean. The following shows young and old:

While I was happy to see the Eagles, this crow clearly was not: this was just the next episode in the continuing battle between Crows and Eagles

While not considered raptors per se, the Gulls also got in on the vole-catching scene. This one unfortunately caught from behind but shows the vole quite clearly:

And a Crow decided to try and take the catch from the Gull. Logically enough the camera latched on to the high contrast crow rather than the Gull: one of the drawbacks of using Wide focus area in a situation like this.

The Gull finally eluded the aggravating Crow:

There were also Great Blue Herons aplenty:

While also not a true raptor, it certainly shows some strong "raptorial skills"! Conditions here were rather challenging due to the grasses in the way

Caught:

And gone!

I also caught a distant, fleeting glance of a Short Eared Owl. Terrible photograph but just complete the list for the day:

Better day for me that for the voles, that's for sure!

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Cheers
Alwyn

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