A few months ago, I had grabbed my camera and headed to a nearby pond. Was curious if there was any wildlife to watch on a warm afternoon. Anytime you can spend time outside, even if it is your own backyard or even just a few miles away, I recommend it. Relaxing and enjoying nature at its own pace is a great stress reliever.
Better Late Than Never
I didn’t get to the pond until around 4:00 pm. In the morning hours, the sun is more in the way on the side of the pond that I generally scout out. I had tried taking morning shots before, but the sun was always in the way and my pictures are always washed out.
Once I got to the pond, I headed over to my favorite spot and checked the trees to see if the pair of sharp-shinned hawks were still there, they were. I was only able to see the male but was able to hear the “ALERT” twitter from one of the nearby spruce trees. I think she has a nest in there somewhere. So I backed away until she stopped “sounding off the alarm” and found myself a spot to sit.
And about now, the mother Osprey peeks up over the edge of her nest and sounds off her “Alarm”. But I don’t move and after about a minute she gets used to me being there and settles back down.
It wasn’t my first time there, I’m sure she figured out I was no threat after a minute considering I didn’t try to approach the telephone pole her nest is sitting on. In the past, I have watched the babies grow up from first hatched and big enough to peek over the edge of the nest to fledglings that were almost the same size as their parents. But I have never witnessed the young’s first attempt to leaving the nest. I had hoped this year would be the year I finally got that chance.
Checking Up On The Eagles
I take a look across the pond using my zoom on my camera to see if the Male Bald Eagle is out sitting by their nest or if he is off fishing. Imagine my surprise when I spot Both male and female sitting on the same branch by their nest. Usually, they never sit together out in the open like that. So I was sure to snap off a few pictures and a small video.
As I was taking a video of the Bald Eagles, I caught movement to my left along the shoreline about 12 feet away. Careful not to make any fast sudden movements, I looked over and there was a Spotted Sandpiper working it’s way up the shoreline towards me. I managed to slowly turn the camera towards him and fire off a couple of pictures and a short video before he turned and walked out of sight.
May Never See Anything Like It Again
Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, it did. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any video or pictures of the next event. But I was able to watch it unfold right in front of my eyes, but it happened so fast and there were tree branches in the way, it would have been near impossible to get any of it on camera.
What happened was either a rouge male Osprey or just a confused one, tried bringing a fish to the nest where the female was. As he approached, she let off a VERY LOUD set of screeches. I have no idea where the female’s mate was, but he came from nowhere at full speed and crashed into the lone male and feathers flew. For a few minutes in mid-air, there were two male Ospreys talon to talon and beak to beak. Looked like a feather ball, then they separated and the lone male tried to escape. The female’s mate wasn’t finished and attacked him in mid-flight again. This time there was no entanglement, but there were more flying feathers.
I wish I had been in a different location, as I would have been able to video the event. But I was close to the water’s edge so I could get as close as possible picture of the eagles across the pond. But I was able to witness it for myself and that’s what really counts. Mother Nature at her best.
What Just Walked Behind Me?
After watching the Osprey protecting his territory, I heard a sound behind me. Not knowing if it was a person coming up to take pictures as well or if it was something else, I slowly turned my head to glance back over my shoulder and saw a lone turkey walking across the edge of the field eating bugs along the way. I managed to get a few pictures and a short video of her as well.
Walking back to my truck I also saw a pair of Mallards on the pond as well as a dragonfly.
And to end the day, I was given the opportunity to spot a male and female Oriole as I was loading my gear into my truck.
It just goes to show that no matter where you are. If you are somewhere outside and you stay there long enough and stay quiet, You will be rewarded with a chance to get a glimpse of Mother Nature.
Let me know in the comments below what your most wildlife encounter you have seen in person.