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Catfishing In Manito Park | News

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Catfishing In Manito Park
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Catfishing In Manito Park

A day of hunting a Heron turned into something much more for Spokane photographer Eric Strate. Last May Strate was armed with his camera stalking a Blue Heron at the pond at Manito Park.

“I knew he liked to hangout in that end of the pond,” said Strate, pointing to the west end. “I was kinda doing the Elmer Fudd hunt you know, four little steps, sneaking up on him.”

His stealthy-Fudd approach worked. Strate was able to get very close to the Blue Heron and then something else caught his attention.

“An osprey was circling at the other end,” said Strate.

From his experience of photographing osprey along the Spokane river, he knew the massive bird was about to go fishing.

“At that point I was just scrambling to get my camera ready.”

He raced to get into position; making sure his camera was set correctly. Strate knew he’d only get one chance to capture what was about to take place. The people sitting on the benches enjoying the spring day didn’t have any idea what was going on.

“I’ve never seen one go in and not get one.”

Down came the osprey. Strate got in to position, raised the camera to his eye, zoomed, and let the shutter fly.

“This is a tricky situation to pull off the focus,” said Strate.

What he captured was a stunning set of wildlife pictures in the middle of a city. With its massive wings pumping, the osprey rose out of the water with a catfish in its talons. The shutter of the camera clicked away. The bird flew towards Strate.

“I was lucky to get a couple of him looking straight at me.”

The fish wiggled, trying to free himself. It would not happen. The osprey had captured its lunch and Strate had captured the picture he wanted.

“When you hear a high pitched osprey squeal, take a look up and watch,” said Strate.  He says he was at the pond just a couple of weeks ago and saw another osprey do the same thing.

Strate has a passion for photographing birds, especially osprey along the Spokane River.  Along with being a photographer, he is also a teacher and Lewis & Clark High School. He encourages his students and everyone to do a little bird watching.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to see some pretty cool stuff,” said Strate.

If you'd like to see more of Eric's photography work you can check out his website www.ericstratephotography.com

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