The Ospreys at Belle Haven Marina in Alexandria in Virginia are a constant source of awe and wonder to me. I could stand here all day just staring at them; and I do.
I’m particularly inspired by the size of their talons. They are very impressive.
Also impressive is their hunting success. I’m not sure how much that’s helped by how fertile and full of fish the Potomac River is, or whether it’s just that they are fish-killing machines, honed by generations of selection to be perfectly attuned to observing every sign of food.
The ease with which they carry their fish around also impresses me; it’s as casual as I am with a Sainsbury’s carrier bag:
The light’s right and, when they fly past quite close, I get the delicate sensation of pins and needles in my lower back and up to my neck. They are magical:
With those keen yellow eyes and sickle-shaped beak they look other-worldly. This one was definitely on a mission:
I may be here for a few more hours: