'scene' along the way, boats, family, nature, nesting, photography, sky, travel, weather

Fishermen…

I was supposed to be driving my great-nephew to Dowser’s Beach so that he could spend the day fishing, but it turned into a very nice photo op for me.  With the somber skies I knew I’d better take advantage so made sure to bring my camera with me.  The sky was quite dramatic, and the ospreys were very busy.  And the car windows will be down for the rest of the day since that fisherman and his gear left a certain aroma behind.  Nice visit with a kid I hardly get to see though, so it’s okay…6-25boat26-25pier6-25rocks6-25rowboats6-25sailboat6-25sailboat26-25shrub

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backyard visitors, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Frequent flier…

There has been a frequent flier at the lake lately.  That’s what I call the hawk that is out on the post all the time lately.  I really mean all the time, including in the torrential rain.  I have to wonder if the animals find the weather as much of an annoyance as we do.  He was out there on the post as if there was nothing unusual  about the weather at all.6-1hawkintherainI came back from the sunrise to find that the cranes were still out back on the lake, I would have expected them to be gone by then.  And as I went out and set out to take pictures I saw that the cranes were out there, but on a smaller post very near the cranes was the hawk.  It was a surprise, and I wondered if I should be alarmed.  The cranes weren’t worried though.  They just continued on their way, and it was the hawk who blinked, I mean took off.  The cranes seem to be king of the hill out there.6-1flapper6-1crossing26-1cranes and hawk26-1cranesandhawkAnd the Common Gallinule chicks I’ve been attempting to photograph were finally out in the open, eating bread if truth be told.  I wasn’t feeding them though.  I will look up what is healthy to feed the birds if a person feels the need to feed them.6-1gallinule2.jpgAnd the answer was frozen peas, but thawed, and corn, fresh, frozen, or canned.  Who knew?

birds, blessings, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, nesting, Owls, perseverance, photography, technology

Update from Philippe Park…

 

I am revisiting the owl photos from Phillippe Park which were posted in February because there is news to report.  When I heard that there was an owlet at the park I headed there asap, and because of how wonderfully birders share their information I was able to find the tree.  The nest was surrounded by photographers most every day, present, but respectful of the nest.  They dubbed this owlet Charlotte, they alternate male and female names every year.  So this might have been new to me but it’s an annual event.  I only went there to photograph the owlet twice, and shortly after the second visit the photographers reported that Charlotte had fallen out of the tree and scratched her eye.  She was taken to Sarasota for rehab, and several unsuccessful attempts to return her to the nest ensued, and there was much debate among birders as to whether she should have been taken from the nest at all.  But there is good news to report.  She was recently returned to the nest area in Philippe park and is reported to have a parent with her in the trees.  All of my info is second hand, or actually third hand, but I choose to be happy and hope that that owl has a long life ahead of her in that beautiful park.

Looking for photos of the owlet has reminded me that I have never set Lightroom in my computer to fully take advantage of the abilities of the program to organize your photos.  You can tag your photos, and then a search for ‘owls’ would have brought up all my owl photos.  You can rate your photos as they are imported into your computer, or you might choose to color code them, and Jeff, fearless leader of the group, talks about how quickly he can find a photo he might be looking for among his thousands of photos.  But I’m a beginner, and he also talks about the silly things that beginners think they need to do.  Like delete unusable photos one by one, when it’s also possible to tag the photos you will eventually delete and then purge them in one fell swoop.  It drives me crazy when he talks about beginners and the silly things that they do, mostly because it’s as if he has been reading my mind.  A little, or possibly a lot of organization is needed, I see that now.  Alas, I don’t have new photos to share, but these are the ones I used previously.2-15winglet2-15owletvignette12-15owlet42-15owlet32-15owlet22-15owlet13-7owls83-7owls73-7owls63-7owls23-7owls33-7owls4

birds, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Tricolored heron

Venis rookery…

When I first heard the term ‘rookery’ I thought it meant an official facility of some sort.  I didn’t expect that it was just an island in a small body of water that had been selected by the wild birds, lots of wild birds, as the place to nest and raise their young.  Don’t bother trying to google this place because it wouldn’t come up for me, but luckily for me my big day of photo ops included a stop here.  It was worthwhile even if I didn’t see the alligator that my friend insisted was right there in front of me.  I guess I was too busy looking at the birds.

I didn’t see what creature jumped into the water as this Tri-color Heron zeroed in on him.  But what I did see was the heron walking along the edge of the water towards me, coming almost too close to me for me to be able to fit him in the picture with the zoom lens I had in the camera.  I kept taking pictures, and it was only later that I realized that he was following the trail of bubbles that his prey was leaving, probably without realizing it.  5-12great15-12hotpursuit25-12hotpursuit3The trail of bubbles led away from me, and at last glance the heron was still following, hoping for dinner.  Or possibly desert…

My recent photo excursions have had me distracted from the Sandhill crane family that lives on my lake.  So much so that I hadn’t even done a head count in a couple of days.  I’ve missed several perfect opportunities by letting Ozzie out and discovering that they are right out back, and they head to the other side of the lake before I can get the camera out.  At least I know that they are all present and accounted for, as of last night that is.  And growing fast!5-13longlegs5-13longlegs2

 

adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, learning, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Photo safari…

I lost track of how many times I heard the words ‘one more stop’ on Friday’s epic photo journey.  But even though we set out hours before, and were hours away from home, it would be crazy not to stop as we passed by Six Mile Slough and the Celery Fields, not to mention Venis rookery.  It was up to me to stop, or not to stop, so we stopped at them all, and I was glad every time because everywhere we stopped the birds were happy to pose for us.  Did I mention what a nice day it was?  I hope so, because it was, a very nice day.

5-12immatureblack
Immature Black-crowned Night Hawk, according to Merlin
5-12yellowcrowned
Yellow-crowned Night Hawk
5-12cattleegret
Cattle Egret, and below we see why they are known as Cattle Egrets

5-12cattleegretsinaction

5-12stumped
Merlin was stumped on this one, I say male Grackle
5-12easternmeadowlark
Eastern Mockingbird

 

5-12greatblue2
Great Blue Heron, I waited for her to stand up to see the eggs, barely, but I had hoped for chicks.
5-12spoonbill
I never dreamed a Roseate Spoonbill would just fly in and join the fun!
5-12femalegrackle
Female Grackle, common bird, but she did fly in for a close up
5-12limpkin
Limpkin, who are responsible for all the open, empty, shells laying along the shore
5-12purplegallinule1
Purple Gallinule, my friend was quite happy to see them

5-12conflict2

5-12conflict
The Great White Egrets were responsible for much gnashing of, well, bills, and all the appropriate sound effects to go with it!

 

adventure, birds, connections, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, neighbors, nesting, Owls, photography, Uncategorized

Burrowing owls…

The only thing better than being lucky in love is being lucky in neighbors.  Well, okay, lucky in love wins out, but not by a lot.  If you are lucky in neighbors you might realize that your neighbor ran his lawnmower across the last several swipes at the bottom of your yard, the part that you are too chicken to do on your lawn mower for fear it’ll tip over.  Or you will be invited to go shooting, photographs that is, and you won’t get home for 12 1/2 hours, but your dog will be well taken care of, your outside lights will be on to light your way when you get home, and your mail, including a Mother’s Day gift, will be sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for you.  

And good neighbors also mean that when you have a chance to go on a marathon photo shoot you can say yes.  It was a ride along for me.  One of my friend’s main goals was to see young burrowing owls before they fledged the nest.  Or in their case the burrow.  I didn’t know what to expect exactly, but I’d seen photos of these tiny owls standing beside their burrows in an open sandy field, with scattered shrubs and not much else.  I didn’t realize that the burrows in these fields would be marked off by short sections of white pipe with yellow tape, indicating the perimeter of their area, or that these open lots were in residential neighborhoods.  I hoped we’d see these owls, but for some reason I was dubious.  I needn’t have worried…

5-12burrowingowl5-12burrowingowl3Ah yes, the babies!5-12burrowingowlbaby5-12burrowingowlbaby2Didn’t expect them on the wire…5-12burrowingowlonthewireIn the burrow…5-12burrowingowlpopup5-12burrowingowllonglegs

Merlin said that these owls are characterized by their long legs, which aren’t apparent when they are hunkered down in the burrow, but they are showing here.

I’m a lucky gal every day, but yesterday was special…