birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, on closer examination, photography, sunrise

An Aripeka morning…

Someone new rode up on a  bicycle when I was at Hammond’s Creek Bridge this morning.  I told him that the last biker who showed up for the sunrise cracked open a Budweiser to drink while he watched the sunrise.  He laughed and said that he was waiting for the bait shop to open so he could get coffee.  Coffee?  Good to know.5-18HDRbaitshop5-18HDRskylightI got home to find a new post-sitter out back, so of course I went out for pictures.  A beautiful Great Egret who posed like a champ, long enough for me to notice the moth/butterfly, a Skipper I think, in the grass at the bottom of my yard.  It was in the weeds really, enjoying the tiny flowers.  I had the big lens in the camera, plus the extender, and this little thing was at least 20 feet away, which let me take it’s photograph.  I never saw one closely enough to see that curly tongue, or proboscis as a cousin’s grandson recently corrected his brother, he’s using to gather pollen is amazing.  Mother Nature is always amazing.

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birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, photography

Baby, baby…

Let’s face it, those Wood Stork chicks just aren’t all that cute.  Kinda cute, but somehow they just don’t look cuddly, like babies usually do.  And they came first, at least at the rookery near my house they did.  I got pictures of them, but the lovely, graceful Great Egrets were still rolling their pretty blue eggs all around and then settling down on them again.  I looked forward to those Egret babies though, because I would finally see adorable babies, I thought.  Clearly I was mistaken.4-1egretchick14-1egretchick24-1egretchick3And look who is ever poised at the edge of the swamp, ready to leap into action should one or another of these babies fall out of a nest.  And I don’t think he would be intending on returning them to the nest either…4-1crocinwaiting

 

birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, life, nature, nesting, photography

It takes a village…

It seems like that might describe the goings on at the rookery.  Do each of the egret or stork parents tend only to their own offspring?  When they are in such close quarters I mean?  I’ve heard that the owlet that had to be removed from the nest at Philippe Park has been brought back to the nest twice, only to fly to the ground immediately.  And the parents haven’t been seen in the vicinity for a while now.  So they are trying to locate another set of owl parents in hopes that she will be accepted.  Assuming that they have seen this done successfully before then I have to wonder if it happens in nature.  I have no answers for this, just questions…

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birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, photography, sunrise

A Christmas for the birds…

I went out for the sunrise on Christmas morning.  As I drove to the Hammond’s Creek bridge I checked the rear view mirror, and again, streaks of red in the sky way ahead of what Siri swore to me was the time that the sunrise would happen.  Pretty sunrise, and an Egret joining me for a change.  Our one-footed heron friend was also there, but on a dock too far away for the wide-angle lens to catch him.

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Then it was off to Palm Harbor in search of a Roseate Spoonbill.  Unfortunately I was too early for the spoonbill, I hear he’s an afternoon visitor.  But there were lots of birds at these retention ponds, which turned out to be a much prettier setting than I had imagined.

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An Anhinga, also known as a snake bird (according to Merlin).  They dive underwater and spear fish with their dagger-like bill.  Sometimes they swim with only their head and neck out of the water.  This would be a female since it’s brown, males are black.  They perch in the open and spread their wings to dry.  I saw lots of perching and wing-spreading going on.

1225woodstork1225woodstork2And a Wood Stork or two.  They are hard to miss with their bald heads.  And I loved how lush that area of retention pond looked.  I didn’t adjust the color on that, it really was that intense.

The reddish looking bird in the feature photo above is actually a Glossy Ibis.  A new bird for me.  With a two-footed Great Blue Heron, or possibly not, I guess I’m assuming things here.

Except for the period of time in which I thought I’d lost all the photos that I took today, it was a good morning.  Followed by another delicious dinner with my wonderful neighbors.  I feel like part of the family now.  Christmas was an exhausting, even if it was fun, sort of day for so many years.  This year it was peaceful and calm, and that is a good thing…

 

 

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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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