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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Osprey

Osprey (Image ID 43785)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sun 6th Dec, 2020 and uploaded on Tue 8th Dec, 2020 .
Resolution1800x1031
Viewed466
ID43785
CommentImage specific:
I was in the process of photographing a large flock of resting Australian Pelicans at Island Point in perfect morning light, and I had set up my focusing sensors accordingly to the left of centre and up high as well, to avoid interfering background; I also had a small aperture set for a large depth of field and was locked into manual focus. Suddenly an angry call came from what I knew to be an Eastern Osprey, and I flicked the camera into auto focus and scanned the shoreline with my lens over the treetops to locate the raptor. In flew two ospreys, one in hot pursuit of the other, and I had no time to re-adjust my camera sensors. Even so, one of the sensors caught, and I managed 8 or 10 shots in quick succession, before it was all over. This was the better one of the lot, of which only 3 or 4 were plausible.
GENERAL:
Previously, the globally occurring Osprey had four subspecies recognised worldwide. However, recent studies have identified but two species of Osprey: the Western Osprey (P. halietus) with three subspecies found in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and the Eastern Osprey (P. cristatus) occurring between Indonesia, Australia and New Caledonia. Eastern Ospreys are found right around the Australian coastline, but for the Tasmanian one. The species is quite common around the WA coastline, especially at rocky shorelines, islands and reefs, but it is uncommon in densely populated parts of Victoria, and there are only a few records from inland areas. A breeding pair of osprey will re-use the same nest year after year, and these nests may become huge in time. The Eastern Osprey primarily feeds on fish, which it most often snatches from the water, talons stretched forward; however it will take birds, lizards and carrion. Island Point Reserve, Harvey Estuary, WA; GPS. Status (2016): Least Concern
[Moderator's note: lower bird is male, with clean white underparts; upper bird is female, with brown "necklace".]
EquipmentNikon D850
Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR
Technique: Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head; standing under tree at shoreline
Exposure Mode: MANUAL 1/1600 sec at f10; ISO-320. Metering Mode: Center-Weighted; Focus Mode: AF-C Low & AF Area Mode: Dynamic, 9 points. VR: Off
Nikon ViewNX-i for viewing and selecting files; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for resizing and cropping to 150%, selective sharpening and general post-processing inclusive of pedantic removal of halos; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise was used for mild blanket sharpening and moderate noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for species distribution confirmation, supplementary data and colour checks
LocationIsland Point, Harvey Estuary, Western Australia
Keywordsmale, female, in flight, adult, behaviour/display
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