Friday, December 25, 2009

3 in 1 Raptor Series

The male kestrel I've been tracking showed up promptly at 230. I heard nearby groups of starlings making agitated whistles.

For a moment he sized me up (digiscope sytlee)!

Suddenly it broke from its perch,

and fled beneath the buildings. I scanned the skies for why. Over on Riverside Church, I spotted the reason. The resident male peregrine, perched on a scaffold--less spire!

Roughly .57miles by Google Earths ruler. As it scanned its terrain, I noticed more tight groups of fearful starlings, all murmuring in the peregrine's direction. Both they and I failed to notice when an adult RTH darted in low down St. Nicholas Ave! I watched amazed as it threaded through a roof top trying to trap a confused bird. As it recovered, I managed to get my camera up to my eye.

Unfortunately my autofocus was not as quick to react.
I suspect the low contrast ratio confused it, so I got a few cool blurry pix...

but as it banked back towards the light of Hancock Park,

the canon EOS AF found the range!

One of my best wild red-tailed hawk shots yet.

So in the space of 30 minutes...three amazing raptor sequences. The only obstacle were the conditions: 30F w 20mph wind, but to the hunters of the sky, its perfect.

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