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.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, bugs, bunnies, butterflies, egrets, exploring new places, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

Celery Fields…

A couple of years ago I spent a day being chauffeured around by another photographer, seeing many birding spots that day. Celery Fields was one of our quick stops, since we were in the area. But my over all impression was that it was rather flat and we didn’t take pictures there that day. Maybe we stopped with a different view that day, but I never added it to my mental ‘must see’ locations. Our intention in going this time was to ride the trails and see some birds that a friend had photographed there. But we quickly found that those long slow dirt trails were going to be too much for our trike and scooter, so we rode on the sidewalk and found plenty beautiful subjects to shoot.

I’m always on the lookout for bees and that’s what I hoped this was. I didn’t have the right lens on the camera and it didn’t seem to be focusing as I wanted it to, but I took some shots anyhow. I’m glad I did. The feature photo seemed to have the same problems also, but turned out okay.
This is the view we saw, definitely not flat. Each turn of the trail revealed yet another hill to climb.
Though the people on the hill caught my eye. I think he was being sent to retrieve his brother. I wish I’d rolled the zoom back a little.
If this guy had been lost he was found in the end,
This egret was the reason we did ride on the sidewalk, which revealed a few more photographic subjects.
I thought this was a glossy ibis, but I had to check to be sure and it is, but he’s in his non-breeding plumage.
A little blue was hanging out with the egret and ibis also.
We missed a great opportunity to get pictures of this immature red-shouldered hawk when we first arrived. Lucky for us he flew into the trees nearby and posed a while.
I saw the beautiful color of this fella’s feathers, but when he turned his head I was a bit disappointed to see that it was a turkey vulture. But I suppose they have their place in the big scheme of things.
This little bird was high in a tree so I had to zoom to the max, and then look it up on Merlin. It’s a loggerhead shrike, which I’d heard of but seeing it was a first for me.

It’s a shame that we didn’t look up info on this location before we visited because there is a lot more to be seen here. But we’ll be back…

a second look, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, ducks, egrets, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Pond critters…

I could probably save myself a lot of time and effort if I didn’t do everything by the seat of my pants. I set the new camera up to take bursts of photos, not remembering that this camera will take LOTS of pictures per second. When you add that to the fact that I had set it up for silent shutter, then you might have a clue how I managed to get 1077 photos in probably a half hour down at the neighborhood pond. So I had many, many virtually identical pictures to look at. Not the greatest pictures either. Learning the hard way, but learning.

This tricolor heron was waiting for me when I got to the pond. He flew off and I thought I’d found him but it turned out to be the little blue heron in the feature photo.
The ducks were flapping their wings and I held the shutter button down in my excitement so I finally had to just choose one and stop trying to find the ‘best’ one.
Okay, I worked on two before I cried uncle.
Found this teeny-tiny butterfly in the grass. I got excited because when he flew off the tracking feature of the camera followed him.
See, it kept focus on the butterfly. These photos are zoomed too much I know, but I was excited to see the tracking feature in action.
Of course I concentrated on dragonflies for a bit. A couple of hundred photos worth.
I was happy that it was one of the orange ones that stopped for a bit, that was nice.
I was sitting on one of the swings, in the shade, and focusing on this little bird on the fence, waiting for him to turn around, or fly. I had no idea that he was enjoying his lunch. I waited and waited, taking photos all the while.

Taking advantage of a break in the raindrops, and then they started falling again.

birds, brainstorms, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

At the Venice Rookery…

Procrastination is one of my best talents. It was when I was a kid, and it’s still with me all these years later. As a matter of fact I have two phone calls I need to make, and I ought to be packing for a trip I have coming up. But at this moment I’m lamenting the trip to the Venice Rookery that I’ve been talking about taking for weeks but only got around to going there yesterday. The Great Blue Heron babies bobbing their heads weren’t there, as I’d promised my friend, though the great egrets and anhingas were raising a ruckus. A little mockingbird flew by and landed on a fence, giving me a nice feature photo. But I confess that I was disappointed when another photographer told me that the great blue babies had fledged the nests. But we began to take pictures of the birds that were there.

These anhingas were keeping busy high up on this snag.
Although you might think these are grown up great egrets, they are still babies who looked as if they were going to take off flying any second.
These two anhinga ‘kids’ looked like they might tie their necks in a knot as they bobbed and weaved. Their neck pouches were fluttering the whole time, I’m told that’s how they keep cool. The day was hot, but breezy, so we were comfortable as we ate our picnic lunch in the shade.
This great egret wading on the nearby shore caught my eye, and it soon became evident that he caught himself a nice fish for lunch.

As I walked to the car to get our lunch I noticed a great blue heron flying towards the rookery. She landed on the very top of the shrubbery, and, much to our surprise, up popped two ‘babies’ who were very happy to see her. We hadn’t been aware of them at all, and if we had been I probably would have thought they were adults, they were that big.

Mom must have brought back a fish for her babies.
It looked to me as if this baby is going to down the fish in one gulp. Mom will have to go fishing again if his sibling is going to eat.
I guess we need to fluff up a bit after that excitement.
I liked the depth of field in this photo.
Someone looks like he wants to go with Mom.

Soon it was time to go. What started out a bit disappointing had turned out to be a fun day. Mother Nature is like that.

Thank you to joannie6535 for reminding me of where I actually was yesterday.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, black and white, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Details…

A couple of weeks ago one of the photo club members was at Myakka River State Park and saw a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly in. “A hundred”, he said. His pictures were amazing, and ever since then ‘Spoonies’ have been on my mind. A very fun Octoberfest party in Myakka City was just the excuse we needed to head to the park ourselves. We went this morning, and after driving the whole park it became obvious that if I was going to get any sort of pictures of the spoonies I was going to have to walk a very wet and squishy path. But I was happy to see them at least. When I got into the car and looked at my pictures I lamented that the turkey vultures had photo bombed the pictures. Earlier in the day I had said that I’m not a detail person, and when I got the pictures into the computer I saw who else had photo bombed the pictures and proved my point. How did I miss that alligator, and why did all the birds just hang around with him?

They did at least keep their eye on that big boy.
These were the most spoonies I’ve seen so far so I’m happy.
I saw this cute guy from the bird boardwalk.
Merlin says it’s a black necked stilt.
I always loved to see the tri-color heron who visited my back yard in Spring Hill.
We saw lots of wood storks and ibis too.
This is a pretty park.

There are many parks within a couple of hours of home that we can go to see birds now that the migration season is upon us.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, egrets, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron

A new favorite rookery…

There’s a new rookery in town. Or, more correctly, a rookery that I’ve been hearing about but it’s taken me too long to try and find it. But the other day we went looking and discovered a lovely spot with easy access, and, best of all, we didn’t have to shoot over a fence to see the birds. The babies are mostly grown now, so I have made a mental note to go back in the spring to see the babies at their cutest.

Judging by the feathers on his head this is a young tricolor heron.
Woodstorks were providing the most action.
It gives new meaning to the term ‘bad hair day’.
Young egret siblings were feeling their oats.
This tricolor was sounding off the whole time we were there.
Really, he was!
I think he was playing king of the hill.
This nest had the most action going on, but we couldn’t see what was happening.

It’s always fun to find a new place to go take pictures, and this one is close enough to be able to drop in to see what’s happening when the timing is better. In the meantime there are lots more places for us to go and find new and different things to see.