Bird Photography Weekly

gannet

I stood on the narrow catwalk hanging below the bridge over Oregon inlet.  The platform vibrated as the cars passed behind me; their tires whizzing by just over my head.   Although the catwalk was intended for fishing, it made a good spot for bird observation.  I resolutely turned my back on the traffic and scanned the water.  The day was flat gray from sky to sea.  Brown Pelicans plunged and bobbed on the waves; a female Bufflehead paddled with her face in the water; thousands of Double-crested Cormorants streamed in long lines from the open ocean to form a solid black mat out of the wind and crashing waves.  Mixed in all this swirling, fluttering bird life were flashes of white; appearing and disappearing like lightening in the gathering gloom.  I watched one fold its wings and plunge straight as an arrow head-first into the waves without a splash.  Ah, Gannets.  I had seen hundreds of Gannets offshore all up and down Hatteras Island; on the move, heading to their nesting grounds in the Martitimes.  What a treat.  I had not seen Gannets since 2002.

In a lull between cars passing over head, I heard thunder.  What I had taken for the rumble of traffic had been mixed with more ominous sounds.  I was standing on a metal catwalk on a metal bridge out over water as a thunder storm approached.  As I considered beating feet onto terra firma, some of the Gannets started to fly closer to the bridge.  I pulled up my camera hoping for a picture.  Of course, I had to stay.  I only managed to get in a few shots before I saw lightening flash on this side of Bodie lighthouse and the first fat drops of rain splash on the metal railing.  I looked up startled.  It was time.  I abandoned my post and hustled to shore as the Gannets swirled white amidst the monochrome black and gray of a coastal North Carolina storm.

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9 Comments

Filed under migration, Photos, Travel

9 responses to “Bird Photography Weekly

  1. Now that’s what I call dedication! Risking life and limb just to get a shot for Bird Photography Weekly. What devotion! And what a great shot, too!

    Glad you made it out of there alive and without your hair standing on end, Bev. I hope the rest of the trip was fun and (preferably) a little less hazardous.

  2. Nice photo and very exciting commentary! I would have left quickly too!

  3. A true birder is willing to face danger to get the perfect bird and photgraph it. Congratulations!

  4. Great photo! Very exciting.

  5. birdingperu

    Good story and good shot! I must admit I was a bit confused at first, not knowing the exact locality the sound of “Oregon inlet” had me thinking west coast and the Pacific!

    Gunnar

  6. Red

    Brave! But a worthwhile photo to show for it and you’re all safe and sound as well :)

  7. Awesome capture of the Northern Gannet Bev! I love the in flight shot and the commentary is excellent! You are a trouper!

  8. Tom

    Nice catch. I`m yet to get a shot of a Gannet.

  9. A great shot of a beautiful bird!

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