'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, eagles, egrets, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron

Good housekeeping…

Friends were taking a day trip today, but I decided that I wanted to stick closer to home. And I did, but I stuck even closer than I thought I would. Usually I drive a little way to see the eagles, and I had that in mind, but then I remembered the eagle nest that’s practically in my back yard. Trouble is that I hardly ever see eagles there when I check, I suspected it had been abandoned. But today one of them was keeping watch over the nest. I couldn’t see any other activity, but I’ll be checking it out from now on.

As I watched the eagle I couldn’t help but notice all the various birds flying overhead, and that reminded me that it had been a long time since I had checked out the nearby rookery. So I went home and got my ladder, because shooting over the fence would be impossible with out it, and sure enough, there was lots of housekeeping going on there.

I don’t recall seeing a snowy egret here before. Maybe we’ll get to see a new family this year. Possibly not the most exciting news for everyone, but that possibility is enough to make me happy. And that goes for the feature photo, a tricolor heron, too. I was always so happy to see them on the pond in my back yard, they were a favorite of mine. But I honestly didn’t realize what I was looking at when I was trying to get a photo, I thought it was a little blue heron, which is the same mistake I used to make out on the lake. Again, I would love to see him or her raise a family in this little rookery also. So much excitement this time of year, and so close to home.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, boats, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Ups and downs…

That’s what the day had, ups and downs. I said that thinking of the photos I took today, but now that I think of it the first example of ups and downs was the off-again-on-again messages I’ve been getting from my car about my tire pressure. I started my day by putting air in my tires because one said it only had 27 pounds of pressure. Then the day warmed up, and by the time I came home that same tire was way over 40 pounds and I imagined it exploding, so I let some air out. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I think I liked it better when my car and I weren’t on speaking terms.

So out I went to take photos on a sunny morning…

Low tide but no wading birds, just wading people.
It was quiet at Anclote River Park.
Two osprey at Key Vista Nature Park. Parks line the water in this area and I stopped at them all.
Sailboats seem peaceful to me.
You knew I had it with me.
Can’t resist the pelicans.
The view along the trail at Key Vista.
A little different view.

But I had started the day watching the eagles, and forcing myself to use my biggest lens and even the extender so that I could get really close shots. I have to manually focus when I use that combination, and that’s a challenge because I don’t trust my vision, and rightly so since I deleted over half the photos I took. But I was delighted that the fledgling was hopping around and flapping his wings, and then I saw Mama flying towards the nest and started shooting. It wasn’t until I got them in the computer that I saw that I did get her, and that she had had a fish with her. I was so pleased. And then I noticed the photography no-no called chromatic aberration. Purple fringing when something very dark is next to something light, caused by your lens, but supposedly fixable. Not by me though, I worked on these photos all afternoon and couldn’t make a difference. If you are seeing them on your phone you may not see it, I wish I could un-see it. Sigh. But it was a good day, good to be outside, good to see the sun.

a second look, adventure, eagles, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, weather

Attitude…

Mom and Dad taught him well. It looks to me as if he is acquiring that magestic look that all eagles seem to have. After all, they are apex predators, which means they have no natural predators hunting them, and it looks like they know they are at the top of the food chain. I can’t believe that this is the first time I’ve seen this year’s babies, which hatched on or about Christmas Day. If I waited much longer they may have flown the coop. It seems the second chick in the nest popped up right after I left. Some things can’t be rushed. But then it was quite foggy when I first arrived, but stopping and talking with friends kept me there long enough for the day to clear up and be gorgeous. I guess my timing wasn’t bad after all…

Don’t tred on me…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Bayport, birds, eagles, Florida landmarks, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Christmas Eve sunrise…

I’m glad I rousted myself out early enough to catch the sunrise at Bayport because the weather took a turn for the worse as the day went on. Poor Santa must have had a heck of a time making his deliveries in the wind and storms we were having by last night. I hope he made it to everyone’s house okay.

Finally the sun was up and it was time to leave, but just as I drove out of Bayport Park I saw a large bird on a snag and had to pull over to take it’s picture. I thought it was an osprey, judging by it’s coloring and by the fact that it was so easy to spot just at the side of the road. But when I looked at the pictures in the computer I saw that it’s a young eagle, it just hasn’t gotten it’s full coloring yet. Now I’ll be disappointed when ever I go there and don’t see an eagle. I should just be happy to have seen him when I did.

'scene' along the way, a second look, eagles, foggy sky, fun, perseverance, photography, second chances, sky, weather

Back to the eagles…

Finally I was up early with heading to the eagle nest as my priority for the day. One lone photographer was there when I got there. I hadn’t met Dan before, but as we tend to do we started discussing places we knew of to go to take pictures. He said he’d been there about 15 minutes when I got there and nothing much had happened. He had a huge lens on his camera and no tripod, so I knew he was going to hand hold that thing. I had a problem with my big tripod so I switched to my usual 400mm lens and moved closer to the nest than he was standing. Suddenly two birds came up from behind the trees and flew away too fast for either of us to get a picture. A few minutes later I saw the eagle come back to the nest and managed to get a picture before it settled down, and again there appeared to be nothing happening at all. Dan said that it had been one of the eagles from the nest that had chased off a juvenile eagle, but he hadn’t seen it come back to the nest. He gave up shortly after that, after all we had been there at least 90 minutes by then. And then I left too, but I decided to head to the fishing pier nearby.

The parking lot was full, many more cars than usual even if it didn’t seem to be more people than usual. It was low tide, I mean really low tide. I wonder if this egret was wondering who stole the water, because that’s what I was thinking. Lots of fishermen were wading, but these boaters were on their own, almost. The joys of a zoom lens is that I found another boat way off in the distance. And a bird was circling overhead, but it wasn’t until I looked at the pictures in the computer that I wondered if this was that juvenile eagle Dan had seen, based on the size of the head and the shape of the beak.

This great blue heron was standing by the path as I walked back to the car. Seeing him made me decide to drive past the nest again, just in case, and guess what. There he was, or she, but where was the light that had been so nice?

After a few shots I switched to the big lens with the extender and used it hand held, so I’m surprised that I got any usable pictures at all. Now it was time to go home so I turned the car around but I had to pull over one more time to take this last picture with the sun on him, or her. It was a nice morning after all…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, boats, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Anticipation…

The weather was calling me to get out of the house. It was sunny and warm, not hot. And there was a breeze to ruffle the eagle’s feathers. When I thought I’d check to see if the eagles were hanging around the nest I thought it was going to be too late in the day to see them. Or that the sun would have them in silhouette. I’m glad I didn’t listen to that voice in my head because one was there, sitting on a snag. Maybe he was enjoying the weather as much as I was. Soon there will be eggs, and both eagles will be on the nest daily. And I can hardly wait. I can’t stop at the nest without also stopping at Anclote River Park also. Another nice day.