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Image # 1D2_07168

Cumberland Island, near St. Marys, Georgia


Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 200, f/4, 1/2500 second

Manual Exposure

Gitzo 1329/Arca Swiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

We took the Ferry over to Cumberland Island, to shoot the wild horses there, as well as anything else we would come across.  This was our first trip to this location.  We were in a field shooting a small group of horses, when I saw a Raptor of some type appear in the sky overhead.  I quickly swung my camera in its direction, and was able to get a few frames before it disappeared, not to be seen again.  My initial visual impression is that it might have been an American Kestrel.  But when I looked at the images later on, I knew that wasn't right.  I posted this at that same "WhatBird" forum I mentioned before, and was excited to have them confirm this as a Merlin.  My first sighting, and my first shot of this beautiful little Raptor.