Another stunning day with the Colorado wildlife in Eleven Mile Canyon. The main goal was to capture some images of our newly arrived amazing pair of osprey but it was fairly dark in their part of the canyon just after sunrise so Kevin and I decided to drive on upstream in search of the bald eagles. As we neared eagle territory Kevin spotted a large bird in some
beautiful boulders lining the banks of the South Platte River. We quietly pulled behind some reeds and slowly and stealthily exited the truck. The bird it turns out was a huge Great Blue Heron, which appeared to be holding his position for us. We were able to snap off a few shots before the majestic water bird flew a few feet to another spot where we were also able to approach behind some cover and capture a few more before he decided to move on. We searched downstream for him but were never able to locate him again.
We continued upstream in an unsuccessful search for the eagles before deciding to reverse course and go down to observe the osprey. As we neared the osprey nest I noticed a small herd of mule deer crossing the stream that fortunately paid little attention to us and continued their slow passage across the beautiful blue water. What a bonus sighting that was! Deer in the water are one of my favorite subjects 🙂
Seconds later we spotted a red-tailed hawk circling overhead. It was a scramble to exit the truck and get in some shots before the formidable raptor circled higher and higher and quickly out of range of our 400mm lenses. Luckily I did get a presentable image out of the encounter 🙂
As we neared the osprey nest it became apparent that both of the amazing raptors were in the nest, and there they remained while we readied our cameras and moved into position for some shots. Eventually the papa bird took flight and lit on a dead tree far above the nest. Fortunately we were able to grab a couple captures of him against the blazing blue Colorado sky before he circled high and out of range. I tried a couple of shots of him on the branch far away, but he was just a speck, too small in the frame for a picture.
Finally we decided to go back to the canyon entrance and check on the eagles at the nest . We believe that the eaglets have hatched due to the mother’s attentiveness in the nest below her. Surprisingly both of the nesting pair were attending to the nest at the time and I was able to catch this rare capture of the pair together. And now that I’m here working on the computer I have discovered an exciting development! What I thought was an ordinary picture of a female red-winged blackbird is actually a lifetime first for me! An image of a Wilson’s Snipe 🙂 I never cease to be amazed at the variety of life calling that beautiful canyon home!
I couldn’t fit the full beauty of the day into a single blog post but please feel free to view the rest on my Instagram page for the best of the day and also where there are also tons of pictures from my other photographic adventures! Please remember to follow my page if you enjoy the content and want to be sure not to miss any updates!
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