Part of the charm of heading over to the rookery is that there is a Twisty Treat ice cream stand right there! So you can tell yourself that you are going to take pictures, but in the back of your mind you are thinking ice cream. Yesterday I had my priorities straight, I got the ice cream first! Okay, you do have to drive across the parking lot and tuck your car in behind the buildings to unload, but I then found myself marching towards the fence with another gal, a like-minded gal, because we were both lugging a three step ladder and cameras with nice long lenses. It must have looked like we planned it. So I made a new friend yesterday, and had a very nice time as we took pictures of the chicks, and talked about photography in general. I told her about our camera club, FCCP, Florida Center for Creative Photography, and I told her that there are a lot of people my age in the group, but younger people also. Mentioned because she is young, the years that I wonder where they went are still waiting to unfold for her. But she said she likes people my age, and at that moment we were kindred spirits. The big difference was that when the osprey we had been watching hover in the air over the rookery finally made his dive and came up with a fish, her camera battery didn’t die like mine did. The most dramatic moment of a nice afternoon and I missed it. But really I didn’t miss anything, I made a new friend…
That’s what tonight’s photo shoot was supposed to be about. Big birds like this…
We were on a beach near the airport, and the planes were supposed to be coming towards us to land. An entirely different perspective. And we were shooting at sunset so some color in the sky behind them would have been nice. There were plenty of planes, but they were taking off with the wind, and we couldn’t see where the planes coming in were landing. But it was okay since birds of a different sort kind of stole the show.Wait, is that an osprey? Oh, let me zoom…And the prettiest shore bird, a willet I think. I saw another one of the photographers concentrating on him, and later on he said that he thought he caught this guy with a tiny little crab in his mouth. I hope his patience paid off for him.
I took 675 photos, and I have to say I love the new camera and lens. We were panning, so all my photos were taken hand held, and zoomed to the fullest, so I assumed that I was getting blurry shots, but hoped for a few that I liked. Well, my shots weren’t blurry at all. Oh, and the new lens goes from close up to pretty great zoom, like this.
I have so many more photos to go through, but tomorrow morning is another shoot so I need to go to bed. I have to get up early…
It was a little like watching a horror movie. A front row seat, so to speak, for blood, guts, and gore, and you couldn’t look away. Because it was all taking place in full view, lit perfectly, and you were watching through your 600mm lens with extender attached! An Osprey landed in a tree with a fish in it’s talons. Another photographer announced his arrival, and we all turned our attention to this latest development. As I watched they said that he would eat the head and eyes first, and then bring the rest to the nest. While nice clear shots is what I’m usually looking for, this was Mother Nature at it’s most brutal. They were right, and I have photos, but I’ll spare you.
About this time we returned to the Nature Center where we hoped that low tide would have brought lots of birds there to wade and eat. There were only two however, a Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron.
So it was off to the Dunedin Causeway to finish off the evening with the sunset and then head for home. Another destination to enjoy here in paradise…
When I left the nest, having heard the sad news about the eaglets, I went to Anclote River Park. I had been there before with my son and his family, and what I remember was that the water was red. I don’t remember the explanation. It was very odd, and it stuck in my mind. What I found this time was a lovely park, and I would think it might be yet another great spot for the sunset. I was directed there by another photographer, who told me to look to my right once I got there and I’d see the Osprey nest. He wasn’t sure if there were eggs, but as you see the Ospreys were on hand.
Then I wandered along the walkway and what I couldn’t help but notice were the pelicans. Certainly the most up close photo opportunity with them that I’ve seen so far.But still the eagles were on my mind. I saw the one in the dead tree when I first got to the nest, and the other one when I stopped on my way home. So they are still in the vicinity of the nest, a nest of very long standing. I spoke to my eagle watching friends and there is speculation that the eagles may mate again and lay more eggs this season. I hope so, at least I think I hope so. It’s hard not to get too attached.Back home the Sandhill Cranes continue to tease us. They are on the lake daily, on the old nest and also visiting the new nest they built. They don’t spend the night, or I don’t think that they do. So whether or not there will be new babies on the lake is still an unknown. I counted on the sunset for a Day 7 of the 10 day photo challenge, but it was too overcast. Sunsets are funny that way. Which left me with only one solution.
I suppose this is Zoe’s ‘before’ picture because she needs a haircut. She was gorgeous when she was young, long-legged and slim. I joked that I got her because people grow to look like their dogs, and I wanted to be taller and thinner. Well, what’s happened is that Zoe has gotten thicker through the middle, and I’ve got grayer… and hair on my chin.
It had to happen, right? I know you saw it coming, it was inevitable. A 600 mm lens in stock at Best Buy for virtually the same price as Amazon. In stock at their Clearwater store that is. It was a trek, plus they had lots of ‘call outs’, so short staffed and a long wait to get waited on, but I got one. Merry Christmas to me! Of course I zoomed home, stuck it on the camera, and went out back to try it out. And much to my surprise I saw that there were not two Little Blue Herons out there, there was one Little Blue Heron and a Tricolored Heron. I wonder if that’s been the case all along and I just assumed that it was two Little Blue Herons. I downloaded those pictures right away and was so pleased with them that I headed off to Jenkin’s Creek in hopes of spotting an eagle.
And I thought I did spot an eagle in the Wood Storks tree, after all I could see the white head. But no, it was an Osprey, and he was clutching a fish in his talons. I clicked photos while he feasted.
Then I stopped to take photos of the Wood Storks along side the road, and overheard a fisherman tell a woman that she should go across the street to Linda Peterson Park to see manatees, so that was my next stop. There I found two young people who kept insisting that there were manatees right there by the bridge we were standing on, but for the life of me all I could see was the reflection of the trees. Then the breeze came up and broke up the reflection, and there they were! And two nice ladies to chat with as we snapped pictures.
When I look at the photos in the camera I honestly can’t tell how sharp they are, so again, I was really happy when I got to see the results. What a nice day!