a second look, eagles, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Away in an eagle nest…

I had heard that the eagles were now sitting eggs, and that meant that there was always going to be an eagle on the nest.  So heading over there one more time became my priority on Sunday.  Only it took quite a while to see an eagle.  The new nest seems to be tipped away from our vantage point on the street, so you can’t see into it, but the weather was windy but perfect so I waited, and after a while I saw a head pop up for a second.  And I waited some more.  Then then I saw one make a circle in the sky and I was focused on the nest where I expected him to go, but he landed in a nearby tree.  I heard the other one call a few times, but the new arrival sat on his branch.  I began to wonder if that was all that I was going to see, but then he flew to the nest tree and I got to see the changing of the guard.  As we have seen them do before they both sit on a branch and seem to have a chat for a bit, then the new eagle took over the nest, and the other one flew off to hunt.  I was probably there about two hours, a lot of that time was spent crouched, squinting into the view finder, and with my finger on the button.  I wanted to catch one of them in flight.  Or one of them bringing in a fish for lunch. Maybe next time…12-2eagles312-2eagles512-2eagles6

eagles, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Fourth time’s a charm…

Persistence paid off.  After seeing a friend’s photos I knew that the eagles we watched last year were in the process of building a new nest.  Their old nest hadn’t made it through one of the storms we had last year.  Watching them had been very exciting.  We waited for them to lay eggs, and then watched and waited for the eggs to hatch.  That’s when I joined the watchers, perfect timing, I could rely on the fact that every time I visited there was an eagle on the nest.  Sometimes they were hunkered down and you had to wait for a head to pop up, but somebody was always home.  We watchers were quite invested in those two little eaglets once they hatched, so when they disappeared with no explanation it was very sad.    These are the same eagles, but this is a new year, and I struck out the first three times I went by the nest hoping to see them, but there they were this morning.  It was my lucky day! 11-19DukeorDuchess211-19DukeorDuchess111-19DukeorDuchess

'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

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