Osprey Platforms Along Wildlife Drive – Full Occupancy
There are quite a few Osprey platforms for building nests along the Wildlife Drive in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville, NJ. Usually for some reason there are one or two that do not get used each year. But this year they seem to all occupied. There are also other nests throughout the Refuge that you do not see, except for the large amounts of Ospreys flying in the Refuge. The platforms along the Drive are a good place to wait for interesting photos. Everything from the Ospreys defending their nests and young from other Ospreys, hawks & other intruders, to seeing them mating or bringing fish to feed the young Ospreys. Also early in the season you will see them bringing sticks and branches to build the nest. You can get great flight shots as they leave or return to the platforms. You need a long lens, since they are not real close to the road and it is forbidden to go off the road. (But I have seen a few do that which is not a smart thing to do) Quite often there are times of a lot of action you can get photos of right above you on the Drive. Most platforms have a post nearby where the mate waits near the nest, sometimes eating a fish. While you are waiting for action from the Ospreys, there is usually lots of other subjects flying or wading by. Egrets, Herons, Terns, Gulls, Shorebirds, Cormorants, Bald Eagles, Swans, the list is endless. Also while you are waiting the landscapes and Cloudscapes are great there. A usual day there I can easily have 5,000 shots or more to go through especially if you are tracking the flying birds, shooting bursts to get the best wing positions. Or if you come upon a bunch of shorebirds in a feeding frenzy, with hundreds of birds going at it.