a second look, adventure, birds, butterflies, Chinsegut Conservation Center, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Beautiful day, part 2…

Only it was really part 1, because I have a few images from my second trip to Chinsegut Conservation Center in just a week or so. That was our first stop, since it was the farthest north we intended to go. When we got there the feeders were being loaded up, again. The gal said that they’d been filled up the night before and were empty already. It didn’t take long for the birds to get to work on emptying them again. That’s a red bellied woodpecker in the feature photo.

Another Mrs. Cardinal enjoying the suet that was also refilled that morning.
She posed while waiting her turn.
Birds of a feather eat together. Pine Warblers.
They love the suet.
Yes, I think the pine warblers outnumbered everyone else.

Heading south we stopped at the Nature Coast Botanical Garden next, and wandered to the music by a band that was playing in a little gazebo next to the train garden. We saw the train make its last trip around the track before being put away for another week. But I found the waterfalls at the garden to be especially pretty that day.

Plus a butterfly, which made me happy to see.

Stop number 3 was to see what was happening at the eagle nest. The two ‘babies’ were on their own while we were there. But a couple who were just leaving said that one of the adults had just been up in the tree keeping an eye on them.

There seemed to be some tidbits in the nest for them to be snacking on.
This was all the action we saw from them, and we didn’t wait for a parent to return,

Our last stop of the day was at the rookery, and those were the pictures I posted yesterday. This morning we watched a live streamed photography class given for our photography club. And I’ve got a book I need to get back to…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

A beautiful day…

We made a stop at the rookery today. As usual I was a bit ahead of myself, or ahead of Mother Nature. I found myself a bit disappointed because there were no fuzzy little heads bobbing up and down and demanding to be fed. Truth be told I should have known by the decibel level that we were still in the nest building stage. And the funny business stage.

Here you have the funny business.
This is some serious nest building by these black crowned night herons.
We are having a disagreement over this bird’s identity. Is it a tricolor heron, or a little blue? I say tricolor.
This Woodstork was tiptoeing through the tree tops.

Yes, it was a beautiful day, especially if you were in the shade, and the breeze was blowing. A little hot in the sun, but how can we possibly complain?

a second look, adventure, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, road trip

The Vienna Rookery…

Photographers are told that you ought to visualize the photo you want to take ahead of time. I’m not sure that they mean on the drive to your destination however. I had no problem visualizing the rookery full of great blue heron nests, with babies calling out to be fed and their parents flying in and out. But when we got there I could only see a couple of nests with great blue herons standing at attention minding the nests.

This is the first shot I took. Ah, thought I, Dad on guard, and that pile of feathers to the left must be Mom, laying on eggs.
But the pile of feathers turned out to be these two ‘chicks’. Not little balls of fluff. And I now thought that maybe that was Mom, keeping an eye on things out out of reach of the little darlings.
They were flapping those wings too, thinking of the places they’ll go.
They were yapping at her, but she didn’t seem to be impressed.
There are other ways to get your other’s attention however.
The great blue herons were outnumbered by the great white egrets. And the egrets were still in the nest building and posing stage of things. Just like in the rookeries much closer to home.

I was told that we were a month late to see the great blue herons at the just hatched stage. And we think that our kids grow up too fast. But then there will be a new family to raise next year, and we’ll come back in January.

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, nesting, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Excitement at the rookery…

A friend recently commented that she went by the rookery and not a lot was going on. But that was a few days ago, and the action is picking up at this point. The birds are flying in and out, building their nests. Once most of the nests have eggs there will be a lot of birds on nests, and that is a lot quieter. Until the chicks hatch and the decibel level goes up. Way up.

I wonder what these guys are up to?
A little hanky-panky going on. Actually there was a lot of it going on.
This spot is a small outcropping at the edge of the bigger island that the birds nest on. I’ve watched the birds for years and this area is usually where the anhingas nest, along with a great white egret also. But not the wood storks. So when this wood stork invaded the area the anhingas let him know that they weren’t going to stand for it.
It was three against one at this point.
I love the look on Mrs. Anhinga’s face in this one. I think she called for help.
I’ve always noticed that as close together the nests are the birds seem to coexist quite peacefully.
But this argument continued and I kept shooting since it seemed like new behavior to me.
Maybe flapping his wings would back the anhingas off.
But the face off was still in full swing.
At this point it seems the anhinga is backing off. But I took many, many more pictures and this standoff continued as we were leaving.
If the war nearby was alarming to any of the other birds it wasn’t obvious. The egrets were more interested in finding a partner, so they carried on as usual.
So there was lots of posing going on also.

Once they have eggs the birds will be laying in the nest, only getting up to reposition themselves. After a couple of weeks you begin to hear the babies calling out to be fed. You hope that they will be bobbing up and down in a nest that you have a view of from the sidewalk, and eventually that will be true. The cycle of life.

'scene' along the way, eagles, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Another day with the eagles…

The feature photo is Duchess, the eagle Mama, taking her turn off the nest, but not venturing far. And here is Duke, staying very close to the nest, keeping close watch. I know which is which because we happened to arrive to find my favorite, and most dedicated, eagle watcher already set up and taking pictures. She is an expert on all the nests in our area. It was fun to keep watch with her and her mom.

I believe this was Dad’s position for the entire time we watched.
And here is the baby view I had hoped for, Except in my mind it was going to be a tiny ball of yellow fluff.
He looks alert, and serious, as befits an eagle.
He proceeded to flap his wings, getting ready to eventually leave the nest.
Then, all of a sudden Mom arrived. Look at his posture, exactly like mom’s here.
Feeding time. Mom stayed feeing the babies for a while, and then off she flew.
Dad was still on guard. And, finally, baby #2 appeared.
A slightly closer view.

Dad also flew off the nest as we packed up our gear to get on with the day, but as we drove away we could see both adults on snags close to the nest. It was a beautiful day and a chance to visit with friends, what could be better?

a second look, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

It’s that time again…

Love is in the air. Activity at the rookery is picking up.

Hmm, I hope their nest is basically ready, looks like it will be in use before too long.
Lots of individuals in their breeding plumage, just waiting for that special someone to come along.
The cormorants seem to have gotten a head start. This tree looks like a cormorant condo, babies are getting big.

This is a fun time of year for photographers as we enjoy the perfect weather, while nature provides lots of opportunities to be out with our cameras.