Osprey – Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands; Viera, Florida: My first visit to the Viera wetlands was in January of this year. I found it to be a wonderful place to shoot. My return this March found the wetlands green and lush, but fewer birds. Most of the ducks had moved north, and most of the Limpkins and herons seen in January had dispersed to breeding grounds.
Even though there were fewer birds than my January visit, the last evening at the wetlands on this trip was quite productive. Green Heron, Glossy and White Ibis, a few herons and Limpkins were quite active. While driving around the impoundments I saw numerous osprey fishing. I saw this osprey flying into the marsh about 500 feet from where I was standing. It began hovering above the water looking for prey. I quickly jumped into my van and drove toward it. It continued to hover, then fly to a new spot and hover again as it searched for fish. Within a few seconds I was at a good shooting distance. I then jumped out of the van and began shooting while handholding a 300mm vibration reduction lens. Of three shots taken, this one was tack-sharp, and captured the Osprey as it looked down into the water for a fish. I shoot the image while standing on the running board of the van and panning with the Osprey as it flew over. The VR lens and a fast shutter speed gave me the advantage to capture this image.