Above photo property of Blake Shaw/VIREO.
On numerous occasions I had seen a Harrier (marsh hawk) cruising in the distance over one of the many marshes on the grounds of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The past few times I made note of the time of day and location. I decided there was enough of a pattern to it’s movements that I might be able to get close enough for a good photo.
As it turns out, they are fairly elusive. Guenter Weber warned me, “You must see it first to get a capture. If it sees YOU first, it is gone.”
Well, that just made me want it all the more!
I had decided on a location that would put me close to it’s route of the previous morning. I had a good view of the marsh, and the sun was behind me. Perfect! I camo’ed up and settled into my chair to wait.
The weather forecast was for rain in the afternoon, but I packed along my rain gear just in case. Weather is unpredictable in Coastal Carolina, and I have learned not to trust the forecasts. As it was, the sun peaked through the clouds briefly as I waited, giving me a few shots in the golden hour.
I think the gator sees me. Will the hawk?
Then, something in the air to my right.
The good news is, it showed. And, within three minutes of the exact time I had seen it the day before.
The bad news: It showed on the other side of the marsh, too far away for a good image. AND, exactly where I had been the day before!
I can hear Guenter chuckling now. “Ha, I told you!” 🙂
But, for the first attempt I will call it a qualified success. I did not get my shot, but progress was made. I know I have the right time of day, and now I just need to refine my location.
Did the hawk see me and alter it’s route? Maybe, I have no way to know for sure. But, I will conceal myself better on the next try. Maybe I will bring my pop-up blind.
On the way out, I took a profile shot of Mr. Gator for his social media page.