Thursday, June 29, 2017

Osprey at the Grand Ave Bridge in Del Mar

There is a little birding site in Del Mar where you may get a good look at an Osprey. It's usually perched on a nearby telephone pole. If you are lucky, you may see it dive for a fish. Here are a few shots of an Osprey diving for fish at the Grand Avenue Bridge on the San Dieguito Lagoon.  






Arriving at the Old Grand Avenue Bridge. Here's a shot of the sign at the entrance to the bridge.

A street sign showing my location at the bridge.

Getting out of my truck and walking towards the bridge, I spot a female Osprey perched on a telephone pole just south of the bridge. I take a quick shot of her.
 
Looking around to see what other bird subjects were around, I noticed that there was a beautiful Great Egret fishing north of the bridge. The Del Mar Fair is going on and the carnival sounds could be heard from the fun-seeking visitors nearby.
 
A movement catches my attention and I realize it is the Osprey taking flight. She is going into a dive and I scramble to focus my camera on her dive. The photo is not clear but I did get it and wanted to show you what a dive looks like. LOL, my goal is that one day I will get a perfect shot of the dive. I was talking to friend photographer Herb this morning at the bridge and he said he has been trying for the last 10 years for a dive shot! It is the holy grail of Osprey shots! 
Close-up of the Osprey a split second before it enters the water. The legs are thrust forward with talons spread out in front of its beak ready to grab prey.

Oh!!  I'm scrambling and furiously trying to get a handle on my camera's focus!

Managing to finally focus as she breaks the surface and she pushes her wings down into the water to push her body out.
Frame by frame of the dive, the surfacing, and fly-by.



 

An unsuccessful dive.  No fish in her talons this time!















LOL, it looks as if she is flying upside down but it is just an illusion. The Osprey is shaking off water as a dog would after a dunking.
Another shot of the water shake off

And off she goes.

She flies several hundred yards north and makes a u-turn back towards the pole.
 
Here she comes flying back towards the perch.

Swoops low and aims for the perch.

Picks up some lift approaching the pole.

Talons out to grab onto the perch.


Close-up.

Beautiful landing. 

Back to the perch and searching for her fish again. Even though she came up empty talons this time, she will soon catch herself a nice meal. I wish I could stay and watch but I need to get going.
 PS... a few months ago, I was here at the Old Grand Ave. Bridge and saw a Eared Grebe catch something unusual in a big patch of eel-grass.  I took a few shots for the fishermen that visit this blog. You may recognize this fish. I would love to know the ID. This bridge area is really a hidden treasure. I will be coming here often to see what new bird visitors are enjoying this beautiful lagoon and what kind of prey they are hunting.


I watch him for over an hour and he got dozens of these snake looking fish in the eel-grass patch. What a fun time I had watching this little guy.







I hear screaming and look towards the fairgrounds. The visitors at the San Diego County Fair are having a great time. The fair will end on the 4th of July with a traditional display of fireworks that can be seen for miles.  Time to head for home.


A shot of the traditional Del Mar Fair fireworks taken from the bluff by the San Elijo Nature Center last year.
 
Close-up of our flag displayed at a nearby building. Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Independence Day!

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