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Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines

  
 
dclark
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Congratulations to dclark for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 20 votes - View Previous Winners


This year at Torrey Pines there were four Peregrine chicks and they all survived. The Peregrines are regressing to the mean after the single chick last year. There was lots of activity starting in Feb and lasting until June when the fledglings dispersed. I spent a lot of time on the beach and the trail at the top of the cliff wall and took approximately 100K frames, mostly in bursts of 10-200 shots. I have culled it down to a few thousand shots, but I will not post them all. I am many weeks behind so this will be a pretty large posting of some of my favorites.





2022 David Clark

1. Peregrine Food Exchange - The male was active bringing food for the female as she attended the nest on the cliff wall.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/5000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

2. Peregrine Food Exchange

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/8000s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

3. This was the first sighting of a chick in late April. Eventually four chicks appeared.

  ILCE-1    1200mm    f/8.0    1/1600s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

4. Peregrine Food Exchange. With four chicks to feed, there were frequent food exchanges.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/5.6    1/2500s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

5. Peregrine Food Exchange.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/5000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

6. Mom Bringing Food to the Nest. The Peregrines were often bringing rather large birds to the nest, in this case a Tern. We saw them deliver birds as large as young Egrets, which must have been at the limits of their ability to lift.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/3200s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

7. Peregrine Food Exchange

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/3200s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

8. All Four Chicks Pose for a Group Photo

  ILCE-1    840mm    f/5.6    1/3200s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

9. Mom Delivers Some Food to the Chicks. The chicks are very eager and food delivery results in a huge scramble to get some.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/5000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

10. Peregrine Attacks a Young Pelican. In addition to feeding the chicks the parents attacked any birds that got too close. Unlike last year, this year they did not kill any pelicans.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/5000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

11. Mom Delivers Some Food. One of the favorite foods was Phalaropes caught on the ocean. In this case the bird was not dead, and flew away when it was dropped. Mom pursued it, caught it again, and the second time killed it.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/4000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

12. "We Fledged!! Gimme a High Four!" These birds fledged just a few hours before this shot. They are immediately excellent fliers and start aggressive play. Just a few weeks earlier these Falcons were eggs!

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/4000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on Jul 03, 2022 at 09:10 AM · View previous versions



Jul 02, 2022 at 06:09 PM
dclark
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


More.



2022 David Clark

13. Fledgling Manages to Land on a Yucca. Once they fledge the chicks will land quite close to people on the trail at the top of the cliff.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/1600s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

14. Aggressive Peregrine Play

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/8000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

15. Failed Food Transfer. The fledgling stripped the food from Mom but did not grab it. The lower fledgling tried to grab it as it fell but missed. Mom went into a dive and retrieved it.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/3200s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

16. Fledgling returns to the cliff wall with food after a second successful try.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/3200s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

17. Fledgling takes a walk on the beach. It is unusual for the Peregrines to walk on the beach, but on this day three were on the beach and this guy walked very close to me as I sat on the beach in the surf. He seemed very determined!

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/6.3    1/1600s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

18. The Fledgling also waded in the surf, which I have not seen before. Again he was very close and seemed unconcerned about me sitting nearby.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/6.3    1/2500s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

19. Food Fight! The lower bird had just taken a food transfer from Dad, when the second fledgling tries to take it away. He is hanging on!

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/3200s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

20. The upper bird is still trying to take the food and is now dragging the other bird along while it approaches a ledge to land. The lower bird realized it was going to hit the ledge and let go, losing its food.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/3200s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  





2022 David Clark

21. More aggressive fledgling play.

  ILCE-1    600mm    f/4.0    1/4000s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on Jul 07, 2022 at 02:09 PM · View previous versions



Jul 02, 2022 at 06:10 PM
Bobg657
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


What an amazing set, great dedication to bring this to us! YGMV!


Jul 02, 2022 at 07:26 PM
Tom In Arizona
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Hi Dave...

Beautiful set of Peregrine photographs. If asked to choose a favorite, I would pick all of them.

Vote coming your way.

Tom



Jul 02, 2022 at 08:02 PM
shibutg
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Excellent, well captured, Dave! YGMV

Shibu

Edited on Jul 03, 2022 at 10:16 AM · View previous versions



Jul 02, 2022 at 08:43 PM
DivineFocus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


This is an amazing collection of photos. I can see why you spent so much time there. I'd have camped out. Really excellent work.


Jul 02, 2022 at 08:57 PM
dallvr
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


OMG, what an amazing set of photos of these incredible, efficient predators! I got hooked on Peregrines watching the Cal falcon webcam a couple of years ago. Your photos really illustrate all of their finely honed skills. It is amazing how fast the young birds learn. You should make a book of these photos. You get my vote.


Jul 02, 2022 at 09:33 PM
twodees
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Great work there. Spending time with a single species pair and 'seeing them through' is my kind of thing so I can fully appreciate the time and effort you've put in, plus if you're anything like me, the sentimental attachment that develops for that pair (and their young) over time.


Jul 03, 2022 at 02:15 AM
gerov
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Dave,
these are phenomenal not only in the action and story you've captured, but also in the crisp, clean quality of the images. Thanks for sharing. By the time you're done going through he culled images, you'll be just in time to start next years batch

Out of curiosity - are these on a tripod, handheld, or combination of both? Hand holding for 100k images would be exhausting!

Gero



Jul 03, 2022 at 08:59 AM
randomguy
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Truly awesome, hope to get the opportunity too shoot peregrines some day myself!


Jul 03, 2022 at 09:04 AM
 


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cambyses
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


These are fabulous frames Dave... Thanks a lot for sharing...


Jul 03, 2022 at 09:51 AM
Dbltfarmer
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Incredible shots.


Jul 03, 2022 at 10:22 AM
ElvisD
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Thanks for posting this wonderful series.

Your dedication and technique paid off.



Jul 03, 2022 at 03:02 PM
armd
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Fabulous set Dave and quite the effort. They're all great though I was smitten by the one walking by. It had such a hilarious feel and expression.


Jul 03, 2022 at 03:32 PM
richrwk
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Wow. Voted. Enough said.


Jul 03, 2022 at 03:39 PM
dclark
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Bobg657 wrote:
What an amazing set, great dedication to bring this to us! YGMV!


Thanks Bob, and thanks for the vote.
---------------------------------------------

Tom In Arizona wrote:
Hi Dave...

Beautiful set of Peregrine photographs. If asked to choose a favorite, I would pick all of them.

Vote coming your way.

Tom


Good pick Tom! My pick too. Thanks for the vote.
---------------------------------------------

shibutg wrote:
Excellent, well captured, Dave! YGMV

Shibu


Thanks Shibu
---------------------------------------------

DivineFocus wrote:
This is an amazing collection of photos. I can see why you spent so much time there. I'd have camped out. Really excellent work.


Thanks Dan. Torrey Pines is a nice place to camp but I live close enough that I can sleep at home.
---------------------------------------------

dallvr wrote:
OMG, what an amazing set of photos of these incredible, efficient predators! I got hooked on Peregrines watching the Cal falcon webcam a couple of years ago. Your photos really illustrate all of their finely honed skills. It is amazing how fast the young birds learn. You should make a book of these photos. You get my vote.


Thanks Shirley. It is amazing how fast they develop. it was just a few weeks ago they were eggs and now they are expert fliers. They fledge and within seconds they are doing amazing mid-air food transfers. The last chick to fledge had us worried. He seemed to be so far behind the others. But amazingly he suddenly fledged and immediately flew after his Dad who was preparing an in flight food transfer, and grabbed the food before his siblings could get it. We stopped worrying about him.
---------------------------------------------

twodees wrote:
Great work there. Spending time with a single species pair and 'seeing them through' is my kind of thing so I can fully appreciate the time and effort you've put in, plus if you're anything like me, the sentimental attachment that develops for that pair (and their young) over time.


Thanks Andy. I too like 'like seeing them through'. This is the third year this pair of parents has been at Torrey Pines and the gang of photographers there enjoy telling stories about this years crop compared prior years. Every year is fun and I am looking forward to next year. I hope the same pair stick around.
---------------------------------------------

gerov wrote:
Dave,
these are phenomenal not only in the action and story you've captured, but also in the crisp, clean quality of the images. Thanks for sharing. By the time you're done going through he culled images, you'll be just in time to start next years batch

Out of curiosity - are these on a tripod, handheld, or combination of both? Hand holding for 100k images would be exhausting!

Gero


Thanks Gero. I have a bit more work on them. I keep long sequences of shots taken at 30fps and I am working on converting them to short video clips. It's very tedious so I am working on some software to automate it. That will keep me busy for months, maybe longer.
These are all handheld except for #3. I can't follow the fast action these birds present on a tripod. I'd fall off the cliff
The large number of frames sounds like more shots than it is. Most are in sequences of 10-200 at 30fps. So its a few thousand over a few weeks.
---------------------------------------------

randomguy wrote:
Truly awesome, hope to get the opportunity too shoot peregrines some day myself!


Thanks Random. I hope you do. It's terrific fun.
---------------------------------------------

cambyses wrote:
These are fabulous frames Dave... Thanks a lot for sharing...


Thanks for your generous comment. Your shots of the falcons at Point Fermin are superb! I don't know where in Orange County you are located but several photographers from OC visit Torrey Pines. Maybe I will see you there sometime. I went to Point Fermin once this year and got some good shots (not as good as yours), but it's a five hour round trip drive so I don't get there often.
---------------------------------------------

Dbltfarmer wrote:
Incredible shots.


Thanks for your comment.
---------------------------------------------

ElvisD wrote:
Thanks for posting this wonderful series.

Your dedication and technique paid off.


Thanks Elvis (David). It took some time but it was fun.
---------------------------------------------

armd wrote:
Fabulous set Dave and quite the effort. They're all great though I was smitten by the one walking by. It had such a hilarious feel and expression.


Yeah, I had the same reaction to that shot! He looks so determined.
It was an unusual experience since he got so close. That shot is not the closest. Fortunately I had the 200-600 lens that day (very unusual for me) since at times he was filling the frame at 250mm.
He walked around so long and was approaching so close I was concerned he may be injured, but after ~20min he took off flying and seemed to be fine.
---------------------------------------------

richrwk wrote:
Wow. Voted. Enough said.


Thanks for the comment and thanks for the vote.
---------------------------------------------

Dave



Jul 03, 2022 at 05:01 PM
morris
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Superb set Dave. A few thousand photos is a post would be a new FM record.

Morris



Jul 03, 2022 at 07:16 PM
G.E. Smith
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


Dave - These are incredible. I'm struggling to come up with a way to express how really, really good these are. Loved every one of these images. Voted !

Greg



Jul 03, 2022 at 07:23 PM
gerov
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines




Thanks Gero. I have a bit more work on them. I keep long sequences of shots taken at 30fps and I am working on converting them to short video clips. It's very tedious so I am working on some software to automate it. That will keep me busy for months, maybe longer.
These are all handheld except for #3. I can't follow the fast action these birds present on a tripod. I'd fall off the cliff
The large number of frames sounds like more shots than it is. Most are in sequences of 10-200 at 30fps. So its a few thousand
...Show more

Very much looking forward to seeing the video clips, Dave.

Gero



Jul 03, 2022 at 08:30 PM
twodees
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines


If you know of any abandoned quarries they are always worth a look for Peregrines and might be 'undiscovered' by other photographers.

Re: 'seeing them through'. I've just finished a three week stint with kingfishers - they fledged four chicks yesterday morning - though all my shots are of adults perched up bringing in food as the site doesn't lend itself to flight or diving shots. Hopefully the adults will go for another brood - there's enough time - and with birds from a previous brood around plus a couple of vagrants I might get some interesting encounters as a kingfisher pair will barely tolerate each other never mind 'outside' birds.

dclark wrote:
Thanks Andy. I too like 'like seeing them through'. This is the third year this pair of parents has been at Torrey Pines and the gang of photographers there enjoy telling stories about this years crop compared prior years. Every year is fun and I am looking forward to next year. I hope the same pair stick around.





Jul 04, 2022 at 02:27 AM
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