Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kite Flying

I was on my way home from work this evening when a bird caught my eye. (Some days it's amazing I ever get where I'm going...) At first I didn't think it was anything special, then he banked and I saw that split tail. It's a scissor-tail kite, one of the birds you don't see too often. So I look for a place to pull over and there is nothing but curb all along the road. By the time I find a place where I can pull over, I'm too far away to see him. I turn around and go back, but now he's nowhere to be found. I make a u-turn back to my original direction and head for home. But then he crosses my path again. I turn around again, but can't find him. Third time around, I just park the car where I can and wait. Sure enough, he eventually flies by, making lazy circles several hundred feet above me. I was next to a small drainage pond, but it must be a place he likes because he'd fly off then come back around the pond. I shot him for twenty minutes until he finally headed off to the south (towards my condo, ironically enough) and didn't return. He never got really close (certainly not as close as the last time I shot one of these guys), but with my 400 mm lens I was able to get some decent shots. Oh, and he stayed between me and the sun, so the exposure is poor on all of these. I guess I'm just never happy. (But I got to shoot a kite!)

With that split tail, it's impossible to mistake these birds for anybody else in the air. Before I saw the tail, I saw the white head and though it might be an osprey. He's too small to be an eagle, although he wasn't too far from the local bald eagle nest.

I wish I could have caught him with lots of light on the underside. But here you can get an idea of the color pattern on the bottom.

This one may be cropped a bit too much, the sky is starting to devolve into different colored pixels. But it's still a nice picture.

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