Sorting finds n+5, blurred bird edition

Scared up just a couple with the last big sort, and had a little bit of a theme going. What luck!

great blue heron Ardea herodias herodias  shaking itself vigorously
While down at the Neuse River, three great blue herons (Ardea herodias herodias) were visible simultaneously at three different compass points, though most images of them were lackluster. This one, however, gained some action points when doing a quick shake to settle its feathers. No, it’s not missing a wing or anything – that’s the natural coloration around the wing joints.

For the end of month abstract last month, I featured two mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) captured while panning, and in going back through the images I realized that I did have a frame where all three of them were closer together, though I still liked the panning blur from the other one better.

2 male and 1 female mallards Anas platyrhynchos flying in close quarters during panning shot
Meanwhile, I mentioned in another post that, while I had numerous overhead passes from osprey (Pandion haliaetus,) somehow none of the frames that I captured while they were so positioned were actually sharp, so I’d passed on this one at the time, but then pulled it back out again because the dead-on stare from on high just had a small element of humor to it.

osprey Pandion haliaetus directly overhead and peering down at photographer, out of focus though
Osprey, like most if not all birds, cannot change expression, but this viewing angle makes the supra-orbital ridge, the ‘brow line’ above the eyes, about vanish and so we actually get an impression of surprise. Probably just an impression, because I’d been in plain sight for at least 20 minutes at this point so the osprey was simply glancing down at the sound of the shutter, perhaps getting its own curious pose from me as I craned backwards with the heavy lens (counterbalanced by the gut, though, so I was in no danger of going over backwards.)

And one not-so-blurred, damn sharp in fact, but it has a curious trait that I wanted to point out.

osprey Pandion haliaetus from underneath showing corneal distortion
Nothing seeming too remarkable, until you look close at the eyes and realize that you can make out the pupils even from this awkward vantage. And again, from 15-25 meters away as it cruised above the water looking for fish. But the focus is so short that the talons are blurred, if that makes you happier.

I’ve been back twice now, by the way, with virtually no activity either time, and evidence that the closest nest, at least, had not hatched yet. Just happened to get lucky with an extremely busy day, I guess.

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