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In search of photo ops…

I used to head out earlier in the day for my photos than I seem to do now. Sunrise, and then whatever other stop I wanted to make. The beauty of that was that when I came home I had something to do. Namely, work on my pictures and turn them into a blog post. If I had multiple pictures from more than one stop then so much the better, I had fodder for multiple blog posts. Having those pictures in the camera felt like having money in the bank. Silly I know, but that’s how I think.

Yesterday started out a lot later than I’m used to. First stop was the eagles, but not much was happening there so we moved on to the owls at Philippe Park.

I’ve seen pictures of the two eaglets on this nest, but nothing much was doing in the afternoon. Siesta time maybe?
People were exclaiming that Mama owl had turned her head. They could see her ‘horn’, they said. I tried and tried but for the life of me I couldn’t see Mama, but I took pictures of where I thought they were telling me to look. And later on I discovered that I had been looking at her all along.
Before Jr. ever popped his head up I had gotten Mama after all.
And there he was! So cute. And there is another one also. We are heading back to try again today, with lenses with longer zooms. This is ridiculously cropped, but I still like the picture. I took lots of pictures once he popped his head up, but this is the only one that you can really see his Mama.

And then it was time to head to Clearwater to meet with our photo group and have dinner. But the timing conveniently allowed for a stop in Dunedin for the sunset. It was a more successful day of shooting than I thought it was while I was pressing the shutter button all afternoon.

I like this angle because of the rocks.
I wish a sailboat had been out there, but it was too cold and windy for that to happen.
The clouds were amazing, even if they were a bit dark.
I love when the sunset lights up the buildings on the shore.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Cranes, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Cold and windy sunrise…

I woke up early enough to get myself to Bayport for the sunrise this morning. It was chilly enough to have turned the heat on when I got up at 4:30 AM, but 48 degrees isn’t really something to complain about when my dearest childhood friend reported temperatures of -4 degrees in her neck of the woods at 8 AM. I miss my friend, and I will always get homesick for New England now and then, but I will never miss weather like that.

Once I had taken the feature photo I got distracted by this Great Blue Heron who (I think) was planning to eat this crab once he was finished dunking it and picking it back up.
The color got more intense but stayed close to the horizon line.
I was planning to head home when I glanced back and saw this scene and had to get one more photo.
Then I made a u-turn to go back and take this photo after I noticed the scene on my way home. And island in the water, a perfect Sandhill Crane nest spot, just like they used to nest on the lake in my former back yard.

It’s currently 69 degrees outside. I suspect that it’s colder in than out at the moment. I need to find myself a patch of sunshine to sit in…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, go with the flow, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, squirrels

Low tide…

Whenever I go to check on the eagles I can’t help but stop at the two county parks nearby. The Anclote fishing pier can be a great choice for photo ops. Yesterday I got there at very low tide, something I hadn’t done many times at all over the years. How the fishermen even had enough water to cast a line was a bit of a mystery to me. I liked how the Great Blue Heron positioned himself underneath the fisherman in the feature photo.

My Merlin app had to identify this bird for me. A juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron. The tear drop shaped white spots on his wing feathers was the deciding factor distinguishing it from the yellow crowned variety.
And this one? Possibly a Herring Gull, according to Merlin. But then it said , “Some species are better left unidentified.” Maybe that can be my go-to answer when I don’t know what bird I’m looking at. BTW, that’s a crab it was eating.
I displaced this dove who had been on the ground just outside my car when I was leaving. But she didn’t go far and posed for me, so I obliged.
This little guy climbed a fence and up onto a post to pose for me at Anclote River Park.

Our recent trip to Circle B Bar Reserve was the Frank Planes memorial walk, which we do on January 2nd every year. He was a founding member of the photography group many years ago, and I remember Jeff telling us that his pet peeve was all the squirrel pictures that newbies take. I guess I’m still a newbie because I can’t resist them…

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Expecting eaglets…

I’ve been meaning to go see the eagles for a while now, and since I was free I decided that today was the day. They have eaglets now, and my eagle-obsessed friends are expecting to see little heads bobbing up above the nest any day now. Unfortunately for me, today wasn’t that day. But as I arrived I was happy to see the on-duty parent up high on the nest so that I could get a few shots.

I kept changing my position in order to get a better view. This new nest is harder to see, with branches and Spanish moss to try to avoid getting in your photo.
I would have loved it if that branch that’s sticking up was actually a little head, but no such luck.
She looked up from her feeding duties to keep an eye on things. I liked the gleam on her beak in this shot.
I was waiting for the ‘money shot’. You know, a shot of an impressive wing-spread as one landed on the nest. I’d have settled for a shot of one flying out of the nest too. But it seemed that all of the action happened when I looked away or moved to a new position.
So this is my shot of the changing of the guard. It’s not what I had in mind.

I expected a crowd of photographers to be watching and waiting also, but I had this view to myself. The day had started out foggy, maybe that discouraged them. I know it kept me from heading out for the sunrise. But, as you can see, it became a perfect winter-in-Florida day.

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Those photo ops…

I’ve been disappointed in myself lately. I haven’t been out for as many sunrises or sunsets. Maybe I was just too lazy, I thought. Or maybe, just maybe, the morning coffee with someone to talk with was the reason. And chatting over dinner might just result in the sunset happening right outside the window and I never noticed. So I’ve given up one obsession for another, well, maybe not obsession, but certainly a lovely distraction. I feel very lucky. And those sunrises and sunsets keep happening, so that when I do head out the door there they are. The big question on this day, which was last Monday, was whether we would reach Edgewater Park before the sun sank totally beneath the horizon. Traffic was annoyingly slow, and we were actually heading to a photo editing opportunity in Clearwater, so we weren’t stopping for the sunset. Nope, I was just shooting out the window of the car as we now seemed to be whizzing past. I was happy to see that I managed a couple of usable shots. And a selfie!

Just made it!
Oops!
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Circle B…

The temperature was great this morning, even if the sky was cloudy while we walked the trails at Circle B Bar Reserve. It was nice to be out with the photo group again. We were hoping to be able to get together lots more often this year, but I guess we will have to wait and see.

Alligators weren’t as plentiful today.
I was tickled to see a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers while we were there. I’ve only seen them once before and not at Circle B.
Another first at ‘the B’ was an eagle that did a fly over. Thankfully another photographer was paying attention and pointed it out.
I pointed the camera up and started shooting. That I managed to get a shot, or two, was dumb luck.
The sun was trying to come out.
Great Blue Herons are always in close attendance to the trail.
Anhingas are also plentiful.
An osprey posed for a picture.

Of course we hoped to see the bobcat kittens that people have been getting photos of lately, but not today. Owls are also possible there, and we thought we heard one, but we didn’t see one. I guess that means that another trip will be in order, and soon…