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|Camera||NIKON D850 [Rent it from Lens Rentals]|
|Lens||Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED AF-S VR [Rent it from Lens Rentals] [My Review]|
|Focal Length||500.0 mm|
|Exposure Time||0.00125s (1/800)|
This was certainly one of the most incredible wildlife experiences I’ve had this year. Cat and I were hiking at Angel Rocks and took a break at the top, watching some falcons flying over the mountain to the south. We were getting ready to leave when we saw a couple of them fly overhead. Fast. I walked back up to the top to see if I could get a better look, and this juvenile was sitting on one of the granite outcroppings about 50 feet away. I took some photos from where I was before deciding to see if I could get closer.
I slowly crept up to a boulder beside the tor the peregrine was perched on. It was very curious and watched me intently. Every time I put the camera aside, it would cock its head to the side the way a dog does when you talk to it. I chatted at the bird calmly, hoping in some way to not seem non-threatening as I inched closer, climbing up to the boulder next to it. For 10 minutes I sat less than 15 feet away. The peregrine seemed not bothered by my presence at all.
Eventually, I looked away and it started to take off to join what I imagine was a sibling in the sky. They played some game of high-speed aerial acrobatics before disappearing. It was a really amazing experience!
More photos from the hike and the falcon are here: Photos – August 14, 2021