a second look, attitude adjustments, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Real life…

The feature photo was my first glimpse of the parent eagle keeping watch over the nest on Tuesday. I was riding my trike up the trail, and saw this view of him through a break in the foliage. From right in front of the nest I couldn’t see that eagle at all. I was prepared to hold out to see the baby eaglet though, meaning that I was ready to sit on my trike while I waited. But the reality was that I stood with my camera on the tripod, my right arm up with my finger on the shutter, putting pressure on my shoulder which has been giving me an issue for a while now. I caught a glimpse of what I thought might be the other parent flying in, so I stood there waiting, and shooting, and the first burst of photos was of the empty nest. And then as I scanned my photos in the computer I saw a glimpse of the other eagle flying in with a prize, just not the prize I might have expected. It was a bird, not a fish, and knowing that explains what another onlooker and I were wondering about. After he landed that eagle was obviously tearing at something and tossing whatever it was shredding out of the nest. Feathers! I was a little disappointed that the baby didn’t get up a little higher to see him or her better, but I did manage to see him and get a picture while he still looks like a baby. I missed that stage completely last year. So here is the sequence of events, some but not all of the pictures since there were over 20 photos from only the second or two that it took for him to land.

I had no clue that he had anything in his talons when I took this picture. I was just happy to be ready with the camera.
Realizing that I had the series of photo in focus really made me happy. The camera’s ability to do this is what made me decide to buy it.
This is when I figured out that it was a bird for lunch.
It’s always a treat to see those wings catch the light.
He got down to business cleaning his catch right away.
Soon both parents were on hand.
They were keeping an eye on some vultures who were buzzing the nest.
Finally, a little head. I took so many pictures because I could see the head bob movement, and then I had to go through those zillion pictures hoping for a bit more than this tease of a view.
A little better view.
I think he was tired of waiting for a tid-bit.
The squeaky wheel thing works in nature also, or so it would seem.

I was packing up the camera when I noticed two vultures buzzing the nest with a vengeance. I wondered if they were hoping this eagle would chase one of them, leaving the nest unguarded. Thankfully the eagle did a lot of yelling, but didn’t leave. But I did, leave I mean. I hope those good parents keep up their good work.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Ibis, nature, old dogs new tricks, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Synchronicity….

I saved this set of pictures from our trip to the B on the 7th. I was watching a glossy ibis in the shrubbery, a not so common site. And it was nearly at eye level, another uncommon reason to be paying attention. As I watched the white ibis flew in and landed in front of the glossy, which caused no alarm at all. They then proceeded to raise their wings in complete harmony with each other, and basically mirror each other’s movements as I watched in amazement. I stood there shooting bursts until I figured enough already, and as I turned my attention elsewhere they continued their dance in total harmony.

Whoa, where did she come from?
I watched in amazement, and thought how lucky I was for this series to land in my lap. So to speak.
They saw their audience, but didn’t seem to mind.
Maybe they thought this was their best side.
Nap time, perhaps.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, bucket list, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Back to ‘the B’…

We had such a fun day at the B a few weeks ago, but I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see the painted buntings. On this trip we saw a cameraman sitting and watching, and sometimes shooting, in the garden area. I was pretty sure he was photographing buntings, but was afraid to approach for fear the trike would scare them off. It was right at the start of the day, and when I first get the trike out it seems to have a bit of a knock that goes away after a bit. But then he motioned us over and said that they weren’t shy at all.

They were on a lawn and in the shadows, and trying to will them into the sunshine just simply didn’t work. I had a harder time holding steady than usual too, and I could have gone back to the car for my tripod but that didn’t occur to me.
There were only a few of the zillion shots that were usable. I used my old Tamron 18-400 lens with the adapter, thinking I’d be ready for anything. Might have outsmarted myself.
The sweet little Mrs. was also present…
It was so nice to have these sandhill cranes posing so nicely for us. They were all over the neighborhoods in Spring Hill, but when I see them now they always seem to be along side a busy road. Even if there was a place to pull over I’d be afraid that my attentions might cause them to step into the road. So this was a treat.
They are beautiful birds, but their overall gray-ish color makes them blend into the roadside scenery sometimes. It can be startling as you are driving and you don’t notice them until they are very close.
Those noisy grackles seemed to be having a disagreement up in the tree top.
I don’t pay a lot of attention to the anhingas since they are always displaying their feathers like this. But I couldn’t ignore this one.
I now know where to look for the eagle nest, but it is too far away to get in closer than this.
A bit further up the trail we have the ‘big boy’ hangout. Huge alligators across a smallish stream and on the far bank sunning themselves. When I say huge I mean HUGE.
In this same area is this great blue heron nest. I couldn’t see any activity in the nest, but I didn’t watch for very long.
We spotted the windmill that day too.

We are so lucky to have this great place to go to see wildlife. And each time we go back we see different birds, and sometimes animals, and so we return again, and again.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, blessings, connections, friends, fun, life, life goes on, Loyalty, making memories, perseverance, photography

Bosom buddies…

I have had a visitor this last week, and I have loved every minute of it. Because I’m rather camera obsessed, my biggest objective was to get her out to use her new camera with it’s fabulous zoom capabilities. At home, home being NH, she said that there was a lack of color everywhere, including on the birds at her feeders who are in subdued winter colors. So she traveled all day the day before, and then we got her out to the race track the very next day. Racing back and forth, and up and down stairs, a busy first day of her visit. Lots of color and photo ops there.

Green grass was nice to see, she said.
I love the ‘They’re off’ sorts of shots.
We trekked to the farthest corner to attempt to photograph the horses as they were racing right toward us. Head on shots.
I had spotted this gorgeous gray horse as they passed by heading to the gate for this race. And there he (or she) is, crossing the finish line first! And with all four feet off the ground, something you can just cross your fingers to catch in your photos.
And here is the happy winner. It seems we see a female jockey win her race every time we are at the track. I wonder if it’s always the same talented gal.
I caught this jockey blessing himself before his race, which is a good idea I think.

I am a lucky person to have had a best friend who spans 7 decades of my life. We have been friends through the many wonderful times of our lives, and even more cherished is the fact that we have also been there for the most difficult days we could have imagined. This is just our latest visit, there will be more, next will probably be back in New England. Always where I call home…

a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Lookin’ up…

It’s hard not to take photos of the Great Blue Herons at Circle B, they are everywhere. And they preen themselves, or stand still and scan the water for lunch, right at the side of the trail. It’s like they don’t even notice us. But sometimes you have to look up to see them.

He seems very intent on something.
Majestic
I do wonder what this is all about.
Serious hunting.
Anhinga in the tree. Drying its feathers. You can’t miss them either.
Note the sharp, pointed beak, with which he spears his lunch.
But sometimes the anhinga you thought you saw turns out to be a cormorant. Note the hooked beak.
See what I mean.
Just don’t forget to look down.
a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, connections, eagles, egrets, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

The Gray Ghost…

There you have it, the inspiration for many a photographer to head to Circle B Bar Reserve. It’s a Northern Harrier, and I didn’t expect to see it at all. Or ever. We were on our last stretch of trail, which is wide open to see the sky in all directions, but our intention was to make it back to the car before the battery in the scooter gave out. But we forgot all about that when we saw this bird, circling in the distance. I zoomed my lens to the full 400mm, but in the bright light and at that distance I couldn’t see if it was in the frame or not. But I took the shots anyhow. I’ve seen photographers standing with their cameras on their tripods, just waiting, hoping to see him. If they did I’m sure they got better pictures than this, but for my circumstances I’ll take it.

This Pied-Billed Grebe was a first to see here also, but one visited my lake a few years ago.
You’ve heard of a bump on a log…
Heading out on this trail with all it’s roots may be what challenged the battery of the scooter, but now we know where to look for the eagles.
We never did figure out what this egret was so intent on, but we all passed by not 8 feet away and he didn’t even flinch.
Another photographer asked what bird this is, and I answered that it was a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Then she turned around and proved me right.

It was a fun day, but I crashed when I got home and sat down. It wasn’t a nap, I was done for the day. Now to check out some more of the 1334 pictures from yesterday. I was shooting in the fastest burst mode of the new camera, which is great if the bird takes off or something. But when they are still you just have the tiniest little eye blinks or head tilts to decide which is your best shot. But I’m not complaining.