Beyond the BackyardViera Wetlands

More Birding Fun at Viera

In my last post I wrote about the Roseate Spoonbills roosting at Viera Wetlands in the Click Ponds.  Well, there are a bunch of other fun birds there too.  Especially during the early golden light, when the spoonies weren’t cooperating for photography, it was amazing to be surrounded by pink and yet I was photographing other subjects.  Like this Snowy Egret, who proudly strutted around with his white feathers fluffed in the gorgeous light.  He wasn’t so happy later when a spoonbill reached out and bit his leg!

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

Viera’s not one of my favorite places for sunrise – there are too many power lines in the way.  But the sunrise and clouds did throw some gorgeous light on the water of the Click Ponds, where dozens of Great Blue Herons and Sandhill Cranes stood in the shallow water.  I really liked the colors in this silhouette:

Early Morning Reflection
Early Morning Reflection

The Wood Storks were having a good morning last Saturday.  They kept pulling big fish out of the water.  One stood working his catch down his throat for at least twenty minutes.  I suspect the fish weren’t very healthy in that low water, so it was probably easy to grab them for breakfast.  At one point there was a group of three storks in front of me, each with a huge fish!

A Bite to Eat
A Bite to Eat

The American White Pelicans are winter-time visitors to Florida.  It always amazes me to see how big they are.  For the most part, the pelicans stayed in the distance and fed in the shallow water.  Occasionally they would start shaking themselves and I knew a wing flag was coming, so I’d get ready for a burst of images.  I love the water droplets that this guy is tossing around as he stretches his wings!

White Pelican Wing Stretch
White Pelican Wing Stretch

Finally, towards the end of the morning, a Little Blue Heron waded right in front of us and pulled a frog out of the slimey mud.  Click-click-click went the shutters as he tossed his victim back in his beak, then swallowed it whole.  I felt a little sorry for the frog, but it was a great way to end the morning!

Frog for Breakfast
Frog for Breakfast