birds, eagles, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, pelicans, photography, sunset, Tricolored heron

The quiet nest…

I held a vigil for a while at the eagle nest today, camera at the ready, and almost nothing happened.  My eagle watching friend says that the fact that the eagle on the nest was hunkered down and invisible most of the time I was there means that it’s the male.  The female is bigger also, another tidbit I learned today.  I was distracted by a Downey woodpecker for a bit, and hoped I didn’t miss anything but I didn’t think so.  What I expected was for the female to join the male on the nest, that was the photo op I hoped for.  But that’s not what happened.  There was sudden movement on the nest, the male popped up and vocalized a bit, and then took off.  Several minutes went by and then another eagle flew over and settled down on the nest.  We couldn’t say for sure which eagle it was, we were just glad to know the nest was protected.

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I stopped at the Anclote Fishing Pier on the way home and found some more feathered friends there.  It’s my friend’s favorite sunset spot, but it was too early for the sunset, and I was tired so I decided to head home…

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birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Eagles…

I missed an eagle photo shoot yesterday.  There are so many potential activities of this new group that I joined that it really is mind boggling, and somehow I had the day wrong.    I wanted to go to the eagle shoot because I’ve wanted to ‘shoot’ an eagle for a while now, especially with the new lens, and the shoot was right in my son’s neighborhood.  Well, his old neighborhood.  I had driven down the road that the shoot was on any number of times, so did that mean I had been driving past eagles and never saw them?  I wanted to find out.

Which is how I found myself heading down the road this morning to where I thought the shoot had been.  It turns out I don’t know my way around that area as well as I thought I did.  But, as luck would have it, after floundering for a bit I spotted two women with cameras and a tripod, and stopped to ask if they were taking pictures of eagles.  Happily they were, and I can honestly say that had they not been there I would never have found the spot, because I expected to walk into the woods to see them.  It was nice of them to allow me to join them, and they were a wealth of knowledge.  They have been watching the eagles for years, and they said that out of the five nests that they were aware of, Hurricane Irma had destroyed three of them.  Two are rebuilt now, but the third is not.  These are a new nesting pair, they said, because the last pair got electrocuted.  Turns out mating and talons and electric wires don’t mix.  I find that sad of course, and I’m not sure I’ll leave that in my post.  Sad but true.

They think that this pair has just laid eggs in the last day or so because they were both out and about all day the day before.  But today we saw the changing of the guard, they are taking turns staying on the nest.  This will be interesting…

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birds, boats, bugs, eagles, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunset

No-See-Ums…

I couldn’t see them so I can’t show them to you, but they are the biggest take-away from last night’s sunset trip to Jenkin’s Creek.  I had doused myself with bug spray just in case, so what they attacked was my face and scalp.  Imagine trying to hold the camera steady while your scalp is stinging and things are crawling on your face.  Figures that there were photo ops a-plenty so I’ll probably go again sometime, when the memory fades a bit.

I expected a wood stork and wasn’t disappointed, but he made himself scarce pretty quickly.1118woodstorkThere were kayakers and boaters to watch.  I thought this guy came in a little fast and might crash into the bridge or get tangled in the fishing lines, neither of which happened.

1118baoterI would prefer to think I’d have noticed the eagle on my own, but thankfully it was pointed out to me by a fisherman.

1118eagleLong ago I took pictures from the observation tower in Linda Pederson Park across the street, and I got mad because you have power lines across your sunset pictures.  The tower is closed now, hurricane damage I assume.

1118observation towerThe egret stole the show though.  I think he liked posing, he sure stuck around and did his part.1118egret21118egret31118egret41118egretcloseAnd the sunset.  Always the sunset…1118sunsetcheck1118sunset2

Bayport, birds, Cranes, eagles, natural wonders, nature, photography, sunrise

Sunday sunrise…

Do you see the eagle in the feature photo?  I saw that there was a bird in the top of the trees across from Bayport, so of course I took a picture.  And I can enlarge it enough that I can see the white head of an eagle, but not clearly.  It’s amazing how quickly a 300mm lens seems to be not enough.  Sigh.

But the sunrise tried, it really did.  After two gloomy days the clouds didn’t seem as overwhelming, so I headed out in hopes of a pretty sunrise display, but it really didn’t get more colorful than this.

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I turned to check the reflected light from the sunrise and was surprised to realize that the Great Blue heron, my usual sunrise partner, had arrived.  He was quiet, unlike the grackles who arrived in one fell swoop, squawking all the while.

 

 

The heron walked along the sidewalk to the spot where I normally take my sunrise photos, and then flew across the water and posed nicely for me.

 

When I got home I found a Sandhill crane lounging on the lawn across the street, and he was soon joined by two more.  I’m seeing them more often lately, after a few months of not seeing many at all.  I hope that means they’ll be nesting on the lake again this year.  Something to look forward to…

 

birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, natural wonders, nature, photography

Scouting for eagles…

I asked an acquaintance for advice on sites I might try for different photo ops.  Like eagles, I said.  Their suggestion took me by surprise, they said to go to the Brooksville (FL) landfill to photograph eagles.

The workers at the landfill office didn’t seem overly surprised when I said why I was there, and they gave me an orange vest and asked that I put it on if I got out of my car.  Their directions were a little vague, and I had to return to the office for more help before I found the road that they had directed me to.  I parked in a turn out area near a retention pond, and looked around.  It took me a second to see them, eagles, high in the trees.  Three of them, in three different trees, but all just as far away.1010distanceeagle

The distance tested the limits of my zoom, and I couldn’t help but be disappointed.  I had hoped for a closer image.  I was there around 9 AM and found myself shooting into the sun so I’ll try again but later in the day next time.  And after a few minutes of focusing on them they all three took to the air.  I guess a predator knows when he is being watched.  I stayed an hour or so, and during that time the sky was full of eagles.  Again, too high in the sky for really nice shots.  I guess I was a little disappointed on the one hand, but I had come for eagles and I certainly got to see some.

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Plus the little red bird.  I had taken the picture but there was a lot of reflection from the sun off of the bolts on that round structure she was sitting on, so I didn’t expect a decent image.  I’m told that this is a female grackle.  I’m glad she was there and that I got at least one good close up that day.1011redbird

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