Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk at Huntley Meadows Park on April 22, 2022. There has been quite a bit of activity lately at Huntley Meadows - Hooded Merganser ducklings have made their way into the open, an easily viewable Pileated Woodpecker nest, Prothonotary Warblers. I woke up at 5 to arrive at sunrise. Due to mistiming sunrise and also with traffic on 95/495, I missed the ducklings coming out of their nest boxes. I was able to get decent shots of them throughout the morning. Some photography friends noted a Red-shouldered Hawk that was frequenting the beginning of the boardwalk. As luck would have it an hour later, this hawk dove down for a frog and flew nearby into the woods. What luck! It got even better because the hawk flew onto a fallen tree only 15 feet off the trail. Myself and a larger group of about 12 photographers enjoyed a few minutes of the hawk nibbling on the frog.

I made the mistake of not checking my card slots in the camera this morning. I didn't notice when I was taking video of the Mergansers that it wasn't writing to my SD card (4k video on the D500 uncompressed shoots at ~15MB/s). It was still sitting in my PC this morning and didn't take it out before I left. I noticed around 10 AM with little space left on my XQD card. While I don't delete photos in the field, I wiped out a bunch of early shots that seemed out-of-focus to make room for shots of this hawk. A yearly lesson to make sure BOTH cards are in the camera before I leave!

Lens - Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 @ 600mm on Nikon D500