Update: Here’s the entire sequence of the bird leaving and returning to the nest.
After photographing some Park Service buildings, I got to the nest around 9:00. I set up my tripod and camera (and my tripod stool), pointing it at the nest, hoping mom would exchange places with her mate. Her head popped up and I grabbed my remote shutter release cable. Sure enough,
she launched and I caught a series of her with a high-speed burst. She flew about a hundred yards away to join her mate, where they copulated. I knew one of them would have to return pretty quickly to keep that egg warm. I kept the camera in position. When she flew back I pressed the release as she approached the nest. Unfortunately, I was premature and only caught her in the lower right of the last frame shot. The light level was low, so I needed an ISO of 1000, resulting in a less than tack sharp image.
I spent the afternoon photographing rock ledges (using my tripod, most shots bracketed for HDR).
I’ll return tomorrow at 8:30. If the bird flies, I’ll be ready to pan her/him on the way back to the nest. After that, it’ll be breakfast, get fuel, and return to Rochester.
-From the river of fire