birds, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron

The star of the show…

Off we went to the rookery again, this time sure that the egret chicks would be bobbing their little heads at us. But not only did we not see egret chicks, the nests that I knew had wood stork chicks were pretty quiet also. So it was this tricolor heron that captured my attention. I spent a lot of time trying to photograph them at my old house as they flitted around the shoreline of the pond out back. I missed way more shots than I managed to take, they were too quick for me. But this guy was walking the shoreline towards me, and though I was only 15 or so feet away he kept on coming, too close for my lens at times. For some reason that little voice in my head was saying, “Along came a spider and sat down beside her.’

I never realized what big feet they have.
I don’t think that he really has a glass eye, but I thought it looks like it in this photo.
And then he decided to head back to his nest.
The nest si too tucked into the shrubbery to see it, which is a shame because I don’t think I’ve ever seen their chicks.

The next day I saw great pictures of the chicks that I’m sure were taken at this same rookery. Midday is not the best time to shoot wildlife in general. And even at the zoo. You would think I would have learned that lesson by now. So thank you to this tricolor heron, my star of the show and savior of that trip to the rookery.

a second look, birds, brainstorms, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Passing time, perseverance, photography, simple things, Tricolored heron

A proposition…

The proposition? Head to the rookery and then stop at Ford’s Garage for pretzels and shrimp. And beer. Now that sounded like a really good idea.

I took a lot of pictures of these two. They were hamming it up a bit.
These tricolor herons were two by two also.
Hiding in the foliage, but I spotted him.
But he didn’t stay long.
Waiting to be noticed perhaps.
Off he goes.
Time out for a drink.

And speaking of having a drink, it was time for us to head to Ford’s and belly up to the bar. That beer was nice and cold, the shrimp was spicy, and the pretzels can’t be beat. The perfect finale to the day…

'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.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, eagles, egrets, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron

Good housekeeping…

Friends were taking a day trip today, but I decided that I wanted to stick closer to home. And I did, but I stuck even closer than I thought I would. Usually I drive a little way to see the eagles, and I had that in mind, but then I remembered the eagle nest that’s practically in my back yard. Trouble is that I hardly ever see eagles there when I check, I suspected it had been abandoned. But today one of them was keeping watch over the nest. I couldn’t see any other activity, but I’ll be checking it out from now on.

As I watched the eagle I couldn’t help but notice all the various birds flying overhead, and that reminded me that it had been a long time since I had checked out the nearby rookery. So I went home and got my ladder, because shooting over the fence would be impossible with out it, and sure enough, there was lots of housekeeping going on there.

I don’t recall seeing a snowy egret here before. Maybe we’ll get to see a new family this year. Possibly not the most exciting news for everyone, but that possibility is enough to make me happy. And that goes for the feature photo, a tricolor heron, too. I was always so happy to see them on the pond in my back yard, they were a favorite of mine. But I honestly didn’t realize what I was looking at when I was trying to get a photo, I thought it was a little blue heron, which is the same mistake I used to make out on the lake. Again, I would love to see him or her raise a family in this little rookery also. So much excitement this time of year, and so close to home.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron, turtles

Left-overs…

To spend a day out shooting pictures and ‘only’ come home with 668 is not particularly a lot.  But it’s a lot to go through and it leaves you with pictures that are left over, that didn’t quite fit the story you were telling, or you simply missed them.  Or maybe they just wanted to stand alone.

All day long we had a running debate over whether or not the bird we were looking at was a tri-color heron or not.  But once we did see one we didn’t have to debate anymore.05-21-2005-21-20tricolor

Green herons seem more rare of a sighting, or maybe they just hide better, but I was happy to see this one.   And this pale colored one was a mystery to me, but Merlin says it’s a black crowned night heron.05-21-20greenheron05-21-20greenheron205-21-20blackcrwned

Soft shelled turtles aren’t particularly cute, but we were amazed to see this one camouflaged in the algae.  And the orange shell of these turtles stood out too.05-21-20sftshellalgae05-21-20orangeshell

An osprey flying over with its catch in its talons is always a goal to see.  But if he stops to eat in a tree it’s the next best thing.05-21-20osprey-fish05-21-20osprey-fish2

I missed the excitement when this hawk stole this snake from an ibis.  I did get to see him make short work of it.05-21-20hawk-snake

A butterfly is always a pretty picture, and this green dragonfly was my favorite dragonfly picture of the day, but I somehow failed to export it so I missed it on my dragonfly post.  But it’s too pretty not to post.05-21-20butterfly05-21-20greenongreen

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