Thursday, June 29, 2017

Osprey spears sucker fish, takes it on a tour of downtown Spokane

Sucker fish, beware; you are being hunted

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 3:39 PM

click to enlarge AN OSPREY CARRIES A SUCKER FISH OVER KENDALL YARDS ON WEDNESDAY EVENING LAST WEEK.
  • An osprey carries a sucker fish over Kendall Yards on Wednesday evening last week.

This week's Outdoors issue of the Inlander celebrates the adorable and awe-inspiring presence of wildlife near Spokane's urban core.

This year, I had but one bullet point on my summer bucket list:

• Get a sweet picture of an osprey carrying a fish.

The evening before my story on urban wildlife in Spokane was due, I finally got lucky. Pausing on the Centennial Trail near the Night Market in Kendall Yards, I spotted an osprey searching for food.

After diving down to the Spokane River to snatch a sucker fish, the osprey skims over the Spokane River, then glides above the Peaceful Valley neighborhood.

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo

Then he heads for the Maple Street Bridge, shooting upward over the evening's traffic.

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
Then, he's flying west over Riverside Avenue...

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo

... swinging by Q6 local news...
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo

...soaring over the towers of the Steam Plant and the Cathedral of our Lady of Lourdes...
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo

... and making a cameo above City Hall. (A few months ago, I was interviewing City Council President Ben Stuckart about financial reporting problems with the Spokane County Democrats, only to be rudely interrupted mid-question by an osprey flying by directly outside the window of the seventh-floor City Hall room.)

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo

Finally, he flies back across the river, directly over my head, delivering that photograph I've been seeking for two straight summers:

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo

Earlier this year, I also managed to take a few shots of an osprey — maybe the same osprey — gliding down into the gorge, ripping a big stick off a tree, and taking it back to its nest. (The stick really ties the room together.)

click to enlarge ospreystick2.jpg
click to enlarge ospreystick4.jpg
click to enlarge ospreystick6.jpg
click to enlarge ospreystick7.5.jpg
click to enlarge ospreystick9.jpg
click to enlarge ospreystick10.jpg

On top of that, I managed to snap a few pics of the osprey lifting off and turned it into a low-res GIF.

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
DANIEL WALTERS GIF
  • Daniel Walters GIF
That's Spokane for you.
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