Beyond the BackyardViera Wetlands

Return of the Spring

We’ll conclude the “Lord of the Rings”-inspired post titles with the “Return of the Spring”…and of the Beast to Viera Wetlands!  The weather for Saturday morning was iffy at best, with fog and wind in the forecast.  I decided to head to Viera, figuring that the nesting Great Blue Herons and Anhingas would have to sit on their nests, rain or shine!

I was hoping for some baby Great Blue Heron shots, but only two of the nests had chicks, and those chicks only stuck their heads out once or twice.  There was a nest with baby Anhingas as a consolation prize.  They were asleep in their nest on the top of a palm tree trunk when I first arrived, but after a while, the first chick stuck his long neck up and started to pester Mom for food.  His motion woke up his sibling, who sat there patiently while Antsy Chick continued to dance.  I thought he might fall off the nest at one point, he was being so pushy!  Mom just sat there and ignored him.  I guess Dad was on fishing duty that morning.

Nearby, an Anhinga pair in awesome breeding plumage were working on their nest.  They were in that sweet “lovey-dovey” mode that comes prior to the arrival of the demanding chicks.  :)  The male would go searching for just the right twig, then bring it back victorious to the nest.  There he would hand it to the female, and together they would place it carefully onto the nest.  The nest-building gentleness of these otherwise awkward birds amazes me.

Viera has some great opportunities for good photographs, with the distant green trees that blur nicely in the background.  The dead palm trees allow you to easily isolate your subject, too.  And for action shots, you can pre-focus and then wait for the right time to snap the shutter…if only the female had thought to look at the camera here, hehe!

I have some fun photos and videos of the Great Blue Herons and their nest-building, too, but I will have to save those for another day.

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