On one of my previous postings, dated July 5th, titled “Pure speculation” I had a good idea that the black turkey vultures might be nesting in an old eyrie they had used a few years back. Earlier that month I thought I saw vultures copulating near the nest site.
Well, yesterday all my speculations came to fruition. “Welcome Spec to Morro Rock.” One big beautiful ugly baby vulture! Most people thought I was full of you-know-what, but there he was at 12:12PM standing on the rock that hides the nest site. A lot of white on the chest and a downy head. I hurried to get a shot with my Canon SX35. I fumbled and stumbled, then “buck fever” set in, but I got one at 200 yards. The image was fair so I got on the horn to Cleve Nash, our resident long range specialist. I begged and pleaded with him to meet the next day with all of his large artillery, close to 5000mm fully armed. Well, for the first three hours, nothing. And to think I pulled him away on the first bright sunny day that we’ve had in a week. A photo of a vulture! No dignity at all. Cleve was a great sport all the time I was apologizing and groveling about the vulture not showing up.
We watched several pairs of adult vultures circle the nest site. We would get excited on thinking one would land to feed the young, but nothing came of it. After they left, the chick came out and Cleve got the shot, in fact he got many shots of him hopping to another rock and flapping his wings. Cleve was not entirely happy because of the lighting and the wind. So tired, hungry and happy, we left the rock and the young vulture in the warm sun and cool ocean breeze.
Happy trails, Bob.
P.S. This was written yesterday. “Spec” fledged today.