Revisit to Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida

Yesterday morning I went back to Honeymoon Island State Park.  Mainly because I had heard the day before that there was a pair of Great Horned Owls that had two chicks that had fledged – AND also I had such a great day there on Saturday.  On Saturday I had spent some time moving slowly through some of the areas so that I could scan for the owls, but as you saw, to no avail.

As I started on the trail a ranger walked by so I asked whether all of the owls would have left as the chicks had fledged.  The ranger reported that the family was still in the area with daily sightings and told me roughly where they may be.  So I slowly scanned the area, but again to no avail.  So I headed on to the Eagles and Osprey.

Not much different with the Bald Eagles, but i did get another image of the Eagle landing on the nest.

Some Osprey activity, some “Hanky Panky”, a composition of an Osprey perched in a snag that I couldn’t resist and a breakfast flounder.

Then right next to the “breakfast flounder” I saw an adult Great Horned Owl – my day was made!  So I set up and clicked.  The Owl had an itch, in the image with the wing extended, if you look closely you can see one of the talons poking through the feathers.  After a short while it flew to another tree, but although i knew which tree it was almost impossible to see – only panning the tree looking through the 600mm with 2x could I see the owl, the natural camouflage was perfect.

Then a kind man asked if I had seen the two fledgelings, they were close by (obviously the adult maintaining an eye on them in order to make sure they didn’t get into trouble!).  They just weren’t at all concerned by folks below staring at them, they were more concerned with catching up on their beauty sleep – after all they are nocturnal predators. Unfortunately they were backlit, but I think the D4 did a remarkable job.  At first  I started with +2 exposure comp, but that just bleached everything so I worked down.  These images had zero exposure comp!  Good job D4!

Equipment used: D4, 600mm f/4 VRII, TC-20e III, RRS tripod & gimbal head, Lexar digital film

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