Endless Searching

discerning a fascinating species

Gulls, an omnipresent element of any beach stroll. Pestiferous, abounding and incessant the gull is simple to deal with. Keep any and all foodstuffs under wraps.

Click for “Florida” in my Fine Art Galleries.

For those who adore a crowd of gulls

Conversely, for those who adore a crowd of raucous opportunists simply pull out the food and offer it to the air. There is more about this photograph at this post, “Lady Feeding Gulls, Cocoa Beach Dawn.”

Click any photograph for a larger view.

Beach Walking

Pam and I developed a habit of hanging out in Florida during Finger Lakes Winters when the gorges are closed for safety and even walking the streets is perilous, stray black ice encounters abound. We trade icy falls for beach walks.

It is natural to become inured to the flight of gulls along the shore. For all my carting along the Sony Alpha 700 with a variable lens ( 18 – 200 mm) there is not a single photograph of a gull in flight. Yet, I have my eye on them until my blindness was lifted by a peculiar individual. It seemed to be a white gull, yet it had a watchful eye.

Gliding shoreline parallel with head down, how could I have mistaken it for a gull?

Osprey occupy an environmental niche along 700,000+ shoreline miles worldwide as a single species Pandion haliaetus. A unique bird with its own family, Pandionidae, and genus, Pandion, some experts recognize sub-species in geographic regions. Ours is the Western Osprey.

The following photograph is of a wing shape very different from the gull.

Osprey Stalking Behavior

IPhone 8 always in my pocket, I captured this clip of an Osprey stalking fish in the Atlantic Ocean surf. You will have a better viewing experience by clicking on the title of the embedded YouTube, then click on the Full Screen icon at the lower right.

Copyright 2021, Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Fishing Creatures

Dives of 80 MPH with Precision Control

Visiting a friend’s Cayuga Lake house yesterday I spotted the now familiar behavior of the Osprey, searching for a catch over a deep freshwater lake. This is the second post of a series featuring these successful hawks. The first post was “Endless Searching, with the Osprey above the Atlantic Ocean” For this post we return to Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Click for “Florida” in my Fine Art Galleries.

Human Vs. Avian

Here is a team of fishermen landing a catch, employing a full kit of gear. You will have a better viewing experience by clicking on the title of the embedded YouTube, then click on the Full Screen icon at the lower right.



You will have a better viewing experience by clicking on the title of the embedded YouTube, then click on the Full Screen icon at the lower right.



Click any photograph for a larger view.

Compare the equipment to the Osprey, it has all it needs with nothing extra and a bit left to chance. The hawk was brought close with a combination of a handheld Canon EOS -1Ds Mark III with Canon’s EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6L USM lens. Even with the cooperative hunting advantage human surf fishing is must less efficient than the Osprey dive, snatch, fly away.

A Miss and A Hit

An Osprey can achieve 80 MPH dives only to pull out within inches of the ocean surface. This video starts with the dive, it is so fast you many need two or three views to appreciate it. The dive is followed for an extended take of the bird flying away, continuing to stalk prey, and ends with a line of pelicans skimming the waves.

You will have a better viewing experience by clicking on the title of the embedded YouTube, then click on the Full Screen icon at the lower right.

For the following video the hawk is seen prepare for a dive, streak down into the surf, fly away toward the next, talons around the catch. There is the fascinating behavior of shaking mid-flight to dry off.



You will have a better viewing experience by clicking on the title of the embedded YouTube, then click on the Full Screen icon at the lower right.



All three videos are from my phone. Apple IPhone 8 fits in my pocket, always handy when needed. It has the shortcoming of a difficult finger maneuver to zoom in. I am never fast enough to capture the upcoming action and zoom. Later posts will feature a series of photographs from the Canon with more resolution.

Copyright 2019, Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved