Monday, April 29, 2013

Caught By Surprise

Browsing the web, I was surprised to see reports that across New England the Alewife have been running about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. At the Damariscotta fish ladder there were reports of them running Saturday & Sunday. With a combination of good weather, favorable tides, and a small window in my schedule I decided at the last minute to head up there with the thought of spending two days photographing Osprey (and other birds) feasting on fish.

I arrived on the scene early Monday only to find that; Yes the alewife had been running and Sunday there had been birds feeding, but no alewife had come in since yesterday. Most of the fish were in the ladder, with only a small number waiting at the mouth to enter.

All was not lost. It was back in the car and further up the road to check another river. At one spot nothing, but the other there were some fish headed up stream with attendant osprey and gulls trying to catch them. Unfortunately, the action was sporadic and often far from the accessible areas along the river bank. However, occasionally the fishing action would be close by (if close is measured by a 500mm lens with a teleconverter attached) some of the successful "fishermen" would fly by with their catch on their way back to the nest.

Here are some of the photos I took. Click on the image to visit the gallery where you can click on Slideshow to see full screen versions.

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

Light Chronicle: Osprey &emdash;

On the whole it was a productive day. However, checking back at the fish ladder no new fish had arrived. With almost freezing temps overnight, plus a colder day forecast for tomorrow, I didn't expect my luck would change, so my two day adventure was transformed into a very long day trip.

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