A Most Unexpected Visitor

We’d just finished dinner yesterday evening and were starting to wash the dishes when my wife spotted this hawk perched on a Kestrel box. It didn’t seem quite like a Red-tailed so I looked at it through binoculars and said “I don’t know what it is, but I’m getting my camera.” It let me get fairly close and didn’t fly while I was shooting. Unfortunately, the light was very low and even at iso 4000, my images were a good 2 stops underexposed. Add hand holding at 1/320th and the image quality could be a whole lot better. However, it did let us identify it as an immature Goshawk, a first for both of us and definitely a first for our property.

Specific Feedback Requested

If anyone would like to try noise reduction on this image, I’ll be happy to send the raw file. There was enough noise that to get it to a reasonable level, I was also losing detail.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Sony a6500, FE200-600 @ 500 mm, hand held, f/8, 1/320, iso 4000, manual exposure (oddly, it looked considerably brighter in the viewfinder which is supposed to be one of the advantages of mirrorless). Processed in LR & PS CC. Straightened and cropped to a vertical of 2945x3915. Taken yesterday at 4:31 pm under heavily overcast skies with light rain.

1 Like

Nice catch Dennis. Really nice looking hawk and great background. I’ve never seen one of these. Nice pose too. I don’t think I can help with the noise issue beyond what you have already done. Nice image and sighting.

I’ve never seen a Goshawk either, Dennis. Congrats! All things considered, I think it’s a really nice image.

That’s a nice bird to have around the yard. Any grouse would beg to differ. Post processing looks good and you made a nice photo documenting the presence of this uncommon bird on your property…Jim

A new bird for me, for sure! (Have heard of them but never seen one.) Looks like you did a great job but I’m a certified pixel-peeper and if you want, I’ll see what I can do with the file. I’m fiddling with some modifications to my longstanding processing.

Hi Dennis! Beautiful capture! When I’ve seen these Hawks it’s usually when I’m driving down the road and they’re flying in the woods. I’ve read that’s a characteristic of Goshawks they fly through the trees! It’s so neat to see the beautiful markings up close. Nicely composed photo too!

A good looking bird Dennis and good for you to get a real nice photo. It is a pretty impressive set of feathers.