Osprey, Cape Cod, Late April 2018

 

osprey

I spent a chunk of the last week in April on Cape Cod.  On one of my walks down a Bell’s Neck in Harwich I watched about a half a dozen osprey hunt/fish.  I took well over 200 photos!  The sky was awful – it was cloudy and about noon.

Heres looking at you

 

My camera also did a weird thing in its focusing and exposure.  I have noticed that occasionally some settings will seem to change randomly.  Long and short, the exposures were awful for anything not pointing at the water.  The sun did eventually come out and a couple of osprey flew by, so I have a couple of “sunny photos”.

Osprey in the sunlight

 

A couple I want to point out before putting up the gallery.  In this one the osprey dropped the fish.  Poor thing.  Dropped fish

After going into the water the osprey shake off like dog.  The difference is that the osprey is in flight…  Here is one shaking.

Osprey Shaking

One about to dive.

Start of Dive Part 1

The Dive started.

Osprey about to dive

One during a dive.

Diving

This is what they are after…

Osprey and fish - close up

Here is the gallery.  Remember to click on a photo to get more detail.  When you bring a photo up you can then scroll through them.  All of these photos are from an hour time period.

 

 

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43 thoughts on “Osprey, Cape Cod, Late April 2018

  1. willedare

    I just found your blog by searching for “Cape Cod” on WordPress. What tremendous photos of ospreys in action! I love the different wing — and feather — shapes you captured. I camp with family for two weeks each summer in North Truro, but we don’t see birds of prey very often near our camp ground. I’ve been back home (near Boston) for a couple of weeks and needed a “fix” of Cape Cod scenery. Thank you for this great blog post. Hurrah for the raptor comeback — and lets see if we can ban some of the poisons which are now affecting our crucial pollinators!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      When I bought the cottage in Dennis I never thought I’d see as much wildlife as I do. I’ve taken thousands of osprey photos, but for the ones here, I was just in the right place at the right time. A few came in to feed and I had my camera ready. I’ve also sen a pair of juvenile bald eagles at this same location. It is great that the raptors have made such a big comeback. Hopefully we can ban some of the poisons the way we did DDT back i the 70s, the move that allowed the big birds to return.

      Thanks!

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  3. SHL2

    Great pics Trent. That was 1 lucky fish the Osprey dropped lol. I rarely see Osprey but we do have some nearby. When the sky is brighter than the subject it will meter the sky. Underexposed can always be fixed in PS or Lightroom. In bright light, it’s actually better to underexpose just a little. How was your histogram when you were shooting?

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I love watching the osprey, and as you said, that is one lucky fish! When i take pictures of bird in flight I often keep it in A mode but use the +- compensation at about a third of a stop down. I had this at almost two stops underexposed with compensation dial… I came on these unexpectedly and just started taking pictures without paying attention. Histogram was very far to the underexposed side, but most weren’t clipped too much, so a lot of usable info. Unfortunetly I am using an older version of PS (CS 5) and I don’t have the RAW converter for my new camera, so I was working with jpgs.

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      1. SHL2

        The histogram tends to get on my nerves blinking at highlighted spots so I turn it off but its full of information lol. I am telling you try Lightroom you will love it.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Yeah, typically I keep the histogram off. I might peek at it on occasion. I do manual compensation with a dial by eye, but I know the eye isn’t always right. Using RAW helps when the eye is off.. I may try Lightroom. It seems weird to do software by the month (or year), so that’s why I’ve held back. but I’ll eventually get sick of not having RAW anymore.

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              I thought all Adobe products were online only these days. That’s why I stopped updating my PS. I’ll have to look. I did Google Lightroom and brought me to the page where I could pay $9.99 a month for it. I may look a little more.

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  4. NorCal Zen

    These are awesome photos Trent! I managed to miss this post earlier, thank you for adding the link to the coffee share. I really enjoyed these! Ospreys are fun birds to watch. What kind of camera/lens did you use?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. i really love the osprey. They’ve really made a come back in the last few years and I can almost always see some when I am on Cape Cod.

      I’ve used Olympus for years. Last year I picked up their top of the line, an E-M1 MkII. My lens is a lower end lens – it’s their 75-300 f4.8-6.7. With Olympus four thirds, at the long end (300 mm) it is about the same as a 600mm on a full frame camera. But this lens is pretty slow and not the best glass. I did pick up their higher end 12-40 f2.8. It actually weighs more than the telephoto!

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          It is wonderful. I just hope we don’t do something as stupid as start using a chemical as bad as DDT was again. It took decades for the birds of prey to bounce back.

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  8. Marilyn Armstrong

    I don’t know whatever other problems you had (maybe not enough light? Sometimes long lenses need quite a lot of light to focus properly?) — those are the best photographs of an osprey I have seen maybe ever. Whatever else happened, those are WONDERFUL pictures.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! I love watching the osprey, but this was one of the first times that I watched a “feeding frenzy” that lasted for almost an hour of non-stop osprey action.

      OK, since you are a camera nerd and asked ;) A lot of the photos were very underexposed because it was doing an average of the entire field instead of spot meter (which I normally use). When the sun came out, the exposure was better. I later changed it back to spot metering. The focus was also in a weird setting which did fine with the osprey, but everything else I took was out of focus, so I fixed that later.

      I picked up an Oly EM1 MKII last year to replace my OMD EM 5. Typical the focus on moving objects hasn’t impressed me, better than the EM-5, but not that much better, but I was very happy with this outing.

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