Go to Top

Beyond the Backyard

    Foggy Morning and Lifer Clay-colored Sparrow

    Foggy Morning and Lifer Clay-colored Sparrow - December 2017

    A foggy morning made for a beautiful sunrise, the Grasshopper Sparrow cooperated, and the Clay-colored Sparrow surprised me :)Read More


    Viera Wetlands is Open Again!

    Viera Wetlands is Open Again! - November 2017

    My first visit to Viera Wetlands after Hurricane Irma yielded nesting Great Blue Herons, a fishing Belted Kingfisher, and first-of-fall coots!Read More


    Quiet Time with the Little Birds

    Quiet Time with the Little Birds - November 2017

    A pair of Eastern Bluebirds serenaded me while I watched mixed flocks of passerines wake up and search for their breakfasts.  Read More


    Fall Walk at Orlando Wetlands Park

    Fall Walk at Orlando Wetlands Park - October 2017

    A fall walk at Orlando Wetlands Park gave me a chance to photograph our returning winter birdsRead More


    Chasing Warblers at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Chasing Warblers at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - September 2017

    A Labor Day photo outing at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive yielded fall migrants: Yellow Warblers, Prairie Warblers, and the entertaining Belted KingfisherRead More


    Another Morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Another Morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - August 2017

    A slow morning of photography at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive made perfect by one juvenile Barn Swallow :)Read More


    Feeding Frenzy at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Feeding Frenzy at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - August 2017

    Alligators, wading birds, and Ospreys all vied for fish in a feeding frenzy at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive pump house pondRead More


    Another Magnolia Park Summer Sunset

    Another Magnolia Park Summer Sunset - August 2017

    Another summer sunset at Magnolia Park. Always a fun place to photograph, even when the colors are just average!Read More


    A Third Pied-Billed Grebe Nest at Lake Apopka

    A Third Pied-Billed Grebe Nest at Lake Apopka - August 2017

    I photographed a third Pied-Billed Grebe nest far off in the marsh at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in early July. Four little babies hatched! :)Read More


    Beware the Red-winged Blackbirds! at LAWD

    Beware the Red-winged Blackbirds! at LAWD - August 2017

    Red-winged Blackbirds were attacking Swallow-tailed Kites who hunted insects over the fields, right over the blackbirds' nest.Read More


    The First Sign of Fall at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    The First Sign of Fall at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - August 2017

    My dad and I spotted our first-of-fall Belted Kingfisher at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on July 16. Fall migration is underway!Read More


    Osprey with Fish! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Osprey with Fish! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - August 2017

    A morning of exciting action and flight photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive...and so many Osprey with Fish!Read More


    Lazy Summer Morning at Lake Apopka

    Lazy Summer Morning at Lake Apopka - August 2017

    More summer photography from the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Lots of juveniles-Pied-billed Grebe, Green Heron, Least Bittern, Purple MartinsRead More


    Rich’s Turtle Hat Trick

    Rich’s Turtle Hat Trick - August 2017

    An early morning on the beach yielded three Green Sea turtles - a turtle hat trick for Rich!Read More


    Another Summer Morning on LAWD

    Another Summer Morning on LAWD - August 2017

    Another fun morning of photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive (LAWD) - Green Herons, Common Gallinule, Least Bittern, White-winged DoveRead More


    Feeding Time for the Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Feeding Time for the Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - August 2017

    I photographed not one, not two, but fourteen bugs that Mom brought in to feed her baby Barn Swallows at the Lake Apopka Wildlife DriveRead More


    Mississippi Kites

    Mississippi Kites - August 2017

    It's been fun photographing a few Mississippi Kites mixed in with the Swallow-tailed Kites at Lake Apopka Wildlife Refuge this summerRead More


    Let’s Go Fly a Kite! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Let’s Go Fly a Kite! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - July 2017

    Hundreds of Swallow-tailed Kites kettling overhead makes for a happy bird photographer...especially when the birds start feeding on the wingRead More


    Nature’s Fireworks at Magnolia Park

    Nature’s Fireworks at Magnolia Park - July 2017

    Over the 4th of July weekend I photographed some of nature's fireworks. The sunset was spectacular that evening at Magnolia Park!Read More


    July 4th at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    July 4th at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - July 2017

    July 4th bird photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive: Osprey with Fish, yawning Least Bittern, swallows, and Swallow-tailed Kites!Read More


    More Summer Fun at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    More Summer Fun at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - July 2017

    The photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is awesome this summer! Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeak, Loggerhead Shrike, Indigo BuntingRead More


    Another Pied-Billed Grebe Family at Lake Apopka!

    Another Pied-Billed Grebe Family at Lake Apopka! - July 2017

    Photos of a Pied-billed Grebe family with two small chicks. They rode on Mom's back and struggled to eat fish for breakfast.Read More


    July 4 Weekend at Lake Apopka

    July 4 Weekend at Lake Apopka - July 2017

    I kicked off my July 4 weekend with a Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive visit and photographed all sorts of fun birdsRead More


    Red-winged Blackbirds at Nest

    Red-winged Blackbirds at Nest - July 2017

    I found a Red-winged Blackbird nest at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, complete with two fledglings and a dad who fed themRead More


    Common Gallinule Nest at Lake Morton

    Common Gallinule Nest at Lake Morton - July 2017

    Photos of a Common Gallinule family tending their nest and three young chicks. Mom and Dad brought in food while a juvenile sibling baby-satRead More


    Nesting Green Sea Turtle

    Nesting Green Sea Turtle - July 2017

    Rich and I photographed a nesting Green Sea turtle at the Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge in early July. The poor turtle was missing a flipper.Read More


    June Morning at Lake Morton

    June Morning at Lake Morton - July 2017

    A June morning of photography at Lake Morton yielded juvenile cygnets, Wood Ducks, Wood Storks, and a Common Gallinule nestRead More


    Purple Gallinules at Lake Parker Park

    Purple Gallinules at Lake Parker Park - July 2017

    Photography of Purple Gallinules at Lake Parker Park - and a few other fun birds!Read More


    Eyes to the Skies at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Eyes to the Skies at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - July 2017

    Another fun morning of bird photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, where my eyes were in the skies with flight shots galore!Read More


    Baby Purple Gallinules at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Baby Purple Gallinules at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - July 2017

    Baby Purple Gallinules and their parents posed for my camera at the Lake Apopka Wildlife DriveRead More


    Orchard Oriole and Lifer Cave Swallow at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Orchard Oriole and Lifer Cave Swallow at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - July 2017

    My addiction to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive continues!  On this particular visit, I scored a first-summer Orchard Oriole and my lifer Cave Swallow Read More


    Forky the Pig

    Forky the Pig - June 2017

    Fork-tailed Flycatcher in action - catching the bug, losing the bug, regaining the bug, and eating the bug!Read More


    Two Cuckoos on a Quest at Lake Apopka

    Two Cuckoos on a Quest at Lake Apopka - June 2017

    The photographer-cuckoos met the bird-cuckoo at Lake Apopka. We also saw Pied-billed Grebe babies, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, and our lifer Mississippi Kite! :)Read More


    Baby Pied-billed Grebes! at Lake Apopka

    Baby Pied-billed Grebes! at Lake Apopka - June 2017

    I got to photograph baby Pied-billed Grebes at their nest at Lake Apopka. They are so cute with their stripes and orange spots!Read More


    A Morning of Possibilities at Lake Apopka

    A Morning of Possibilities at Lake Apopka - June 2017

    A beautiful sunrise was just the start of a great morning of photography at Lake Apopka. Bitterns and grebes, oh my!Read More


    Addicted to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Addicted to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - June 2017

    Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive continues to yield great birds, including American White Pelicans and Red-breasted Merganser - in June!Read More


    Happy Father’s Day!

    Happy Father’s Day! - June 2017

    Happy Father's Day to my Dyeyo D!  I'm so lucky to get to share lots of feather-brained adventures with you.  Here's to many more!Read More


    The Fun Continues at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    The Fun Continues at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - June 2017

    The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive has been such fun this month!  Highlights of this visit include baby Killdeer, a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, a Roseate Spoonbill, and the ever-present baby aliens (Common Gallinules).Read More


    Rare Fork-tailed Flycatcher at Lake Apopka

    Rare Fork-tailed Flycatcher at Lake Apopka - June 2017

    A rare (to the US) Fork-tailed Flycatcher has been hanging out at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. What a fun bird! Such a tail! Read More


    Last But Not Least (Bittern) – Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Last But Not Least (Bittern) – Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - June 2017

    Least Bitterns are usually secretive, but apparently they like to come out on rainy days! Photos taken at Lake Apopka Wildlife DriveRead More


    First Afternoon Visit to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    First Afternoon Visit to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - June 2017

    My first afternoon visit to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, in search of the rare White-faced Ibis and Fork-tailed Flycatcher. Lots of great birds!Read More


    Baby Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Baby Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - June 2017

    Baby Barn Swallows are adorably cute as they beg for Mom to feed them. Photographs from the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.Read More


    Not a Good Day to be a Bug at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Not a Good Day to be a Bug at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - June 2017

    Action-packed morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, where bugs were being handed out to all the baby birds!Read More


    Musical Trees with the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

    Musical Trees with the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks - June 2017

    Black-bellied Whistling Duck nesting territory disputes are very animated when more than 2 birds lay claim to a dead palm tree!Read More


    Sunrise Walk at Orlando Wetlands Park

    Sunrise Walk at Orlando Wetlands Park - June 2017

    A summer sunrise at Orlando Wetlands with the birds...Pileated Woodpecker, baby Purple Gallinules, some Least Bitterns, and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks!Read More


    Happy World Turtle Day 2017!

    Happy World Turtle Day 2017! - May 2017

    Happy World Turtle Day! Here are some ways to celebrate Rich's favorite flippered friends.Read More


    In Search of Burrowing Owls

    In Search of Burrowing Owls - May 2017

    Backroads birding in search of my Burrowing Owl family (that I didn't find). Read More


    Happy Mother’s Day!

    April Showers Bring…May Migrants!

    April Showers Bring…May Migrants! - May 2017

    A cold front blew in migrant birds to Fort De Soto yesterday - lots of Bay-breasted Warblers, Indigo Buntings, tanagers, grosbeaks, and more!Read More


    Nanday Parakeets and Yellow Flowers

    Nanday Parakeets and Yellow Flowers - April 2017

    Why would two photographers hop out on the side of the road? To photograph Nanday Parakeets in yellow flowers, of course!Read More


    Migrant-Hunting at Fort De Soto with my Dad

    Migrant-Hunting at Fort De Soto with my Dad - April 2017

    A search for Fort De Soto migrants yielded Summer Tanager, Hermit Thrush, Orchard Oriole, and my one of my favorite birds: Roseate Spoonbill!Read More


    Fort de Soto Photography in Early April

    Fort de Soto Photography in Early April - April 2017

    April is a great time to visit Fort De Soto for shorebird photography and the possibility of migrantsRead More


    Chasing a Wilson’s Snake at Viera Wetlands

    Chasing a Wilson’s Snake at Viera Wetlands - March 2017

    Lots of birds at Viera Wetlands, including Wilson's Snipes, American Bitterns, an Osprey with Fish, courting egrets. Plus an elusive mystery snake!Read More


    Precious Moments with Sandhill Crane Colts

    Precious Moments with Sandhill Crane Colts - March 2017

    Two tiny Sandhill Crane colts were just precious as they peeked out from under Mom's wingRead More


    Snakes Make Bad Necklaces for Birds!

    Snakes Make Bad Necklaces for Birds! - March 2017

    I came across this snake wrapped around a Pied-billed Grebe's neck. Snakes make bad necklaces for birds!Read More


    Another Great Magnolia Park Sunset

    Another Great Magnolia Park Sunset - March 2017

    The sky was on fire at Magnolia Park as the setting sun bathed the clouds in colorRead More


    Little Birds and Blooms at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Little Birds and Blooms at Oakland Nature Preserve - March 2017

    A quick stop at Oakland Nature Preserve turned up a pretty tree in bloom, full of little birds! Read More


    A Quick Stop at Lake Parker Park

    A Quick Stop at Lake Parker Park - March 2017

    Quick springtime walk at Lake Parker Park, with an Anhinga in breeding plumage and several beautiful Purple GallinulesRead More


    Swallow Murmuration

    Swallow Murmuration - March 2017

    Photographs of a swallow murmuration, an amazing vortex of 5 million birds that swirls across the sky as the birds prepare to roostRead More


    Springtime Stroll at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Springtime Stroll at Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2017

    A foggy spring morning at Circle B Bar Reserve yielded nesting Great Blue Herons, a wading bird feeding frenzy, and a flock of mixed passerines Read More


    A Walk Around the Marshall Hampton Reserve

    A Walk Around the Marshall Hampton Reserve - February 2017

    Exploring the Marshall Hampton Reserve: hiking and coots and a singing VireoRead More


    Sunset at Magnolia Park

    Sunset at Magnolia Park - February 2017

    Last Friday after work, I looked at the sunset forecast and saw that Florida was all red - the best sunset forecast this year!  So I asked Rich if we could take a picnic dinner up to Magnolia Park.  I've seen sunset photographs over Lake Apopka many times, and Magnolia Park is only 15 minutes from our house, but I'd never gone before.  Well, I'll definitely be going back!  The sunset …Read More


    Little Birds at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Little Birds at Oakland Nature Preserve - February 2017

    A search for the Golden-crowned Kinglet at Oakland Nature Preserve yielded a quick glimpse of the target bird and lots of other little birds!Read More


    Why Do the Best Birds Like Ugly Fences? at Lust Road

    Why Do the Best Birds Like Ugly Fences? at Lust Road - February 2017

    A cloudy morning on Lust Road yielded most of the specialty birds, most of whom posed on fences! Silly birds...Read More


    A Scouting Trip to PEAR Park

    A Scouting Trip to PEAR Park - February 2017

    I stopped at PEAR Park last weekend for a birding scouting trip. Sparrows and kestrels and a fog bow, oh my!Read More


    Will Fly For Food: Snail Kites in Apple Snail Paradise!

    Will Fly For Food: Snail Kites in Apple Snail Paradise! - February 2017

    My dad and I discovered Apple Snail Paradise and photographed Snail KitesRead More


    I Found My Nemesis Bird: Merlin!

    I Found My Nemesis Bird: Merlin! - February 2017

    A nice morning at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive yielded my lifer Merlin and a Vesper SparrowRead More


    Hooded Mergansers in Melbourne

    Hooded Mergansers in Melbourne - January 2017

    My dad and I came across a small pond full of happy Hooded Mergansers while we were out scouting for a Common Goldeneye.Read More


    Scissor-tailed Flycatcher For My Dad’s Life List

    Scissor-tailed Flycatcher For My Dad’s Life List - January 2017

    My dad and I added Scissor-tailed Flycatcher to his life list. This Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is wintering at the Space Coast Regional Airport.Read More


    Lifer Grasshopper Sparrow at Lust Road

    Lifer Grasshopper Sparrow at Lust Road - January 2017

    Lust Road turned out to be great for uncommon birds, including Grasshopper Sparrow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Blue GrosbeakRead More


    Incredible Photography Morning at Viera Wetlands

    Incredible Photography Morning at Viera Wetlands - January 2017

    My best morning of photography in a long time - at Viera Wetlands! Caracara, spoonies, hoodies, pelicans, oh my!Read More


    Foggy Morning Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Foggy Morning Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2017

    Foggy mornings can still be good for photography at Circle B, especially when the birds cooperate with you!Read More


    Rare Smooth-billed Ani at Viera Wetlands

    Rare Smooth-billed Ani at Viera Wetlands - January 2017

    A rare Smooth-billed Ani at Viera Wetlands provided incredible looks and photo ops for all birders who flocked to see him.Read More


    Odd Couple at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Odd Couple at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - January 2017

    A Hooded Merganser and Bufflehead were the Odd Couple at the Lake Apopka Wildlife DriveRead More


    Holiday Fun at Viera Wetlands

    Holiday Fun at Viera Wetlands - January 2017

    A post-Christmas visit to Viera Wetlands yielded nesting Great Blue Herons, hungry warblers, lazy Hoodies, and Limpkin family with small chicksRead More


    Seahorse Surprise at Fort De Soto

    Seahorse Surprise at Fort De Soto - January 2017

    Fort de Soto's North Beach never disappoints. This time, it turned up a Ring-billed Gull with a seahorse surprise!Read More


    Winter Birds Returning to Orlando Wetlands Park

    Winter Birds Returning to Orlando Wetlands Park - November 2016

    The winter birds are coming back to Orlando Wetlands Park. We had a Painted Bunting, American Bittern, and a camera-shy MerlinRead More


    A Quick Stop at Circle B

    A Quick Stop at Circle B - October 2016

    Winter birds are coming back to the Circle B Bar Reserve. Our quick trip yielded Eastern Phoebes, Common Yellowthroats, and Palm Warblers.Read More


    Tiny Dancers and Other Birds at Orlando Wetlands

    Tiny Dancers and Other Birds at Orlando Wetlands - September 2016

    An early September walk at Orlando Wetlands Park yielded photos of Snowy Egrets, Belted Kingfisher, and other wading birdsRead More


    Sunrise at Orlando Wetlands Park

    Sunrise at Orlando Wetlands Park - September 2016

    Finally!  A day off when it wasn't raining!  So I dusted off my cameras and headed to photograph sunrise at Orlando Wetlands Park.  I got there just as the gate was being opened - perfect timing!  The sky was already lightening as I headed to one of my favorite sunrise spots. It never fails.  We get beautiful wispy clouds every morning as the sun rises on the way to work. …Read More


    My Turn with the Terns!

    My Turn with the Terns! - June 2016

    My first 2016 trip to the Least Tern colony. I hoped for baby terns and got piggy-back rides instead. Read More


    Summer Sunrise

    Summer Sunrise - June 2016

    Images from my first sunrise outing of 2016. It was so good to be out on the beach!Read More


    Early May at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Early May at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - May 2016

    An early May photography expedition to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive yielded Osprey, Red-winged Blackbirds, a surprise Sora, Common Gallinule chicks, and a cooperative Barn SwallowRead More


    Early April at Lake Morton

    Early April at Lake Morton - May 2016

    A quiet morning of bird photography at Lake Morton - Ruddy Ducks, Muscovy ducklings, American White Pelicans, and wise Wood StorksRead More


    Gatorland in Early April

    Gatorland in Early April - April 2016

    An early April visit to the Gatorland Rookery yielded awesome shots of beautiful breeding birds and a few cute babiesRead More


    Learning to Climb – Barred Owlet

    Learning to Climb – Barred Owlet - April 2016

    A Barred Owlet learns how to climb as his parents share precious moments in the trees above him. Read More


    A Nice Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    A Nice Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2016

    Springtime at the Circle B Bar Reserve yields great birds, including a Tufted Titmouse mid-air interception and a nesting pair of Great Blue HeronsRead More


    Sandhill Crane Colt “Uno” At One Week Old

    Sandhill Crane Colt “Uno” At One Week Old - March 2016

    More photos of the Sandhill Crane colt "Uno" taken on a day spent with my good friends Michael and Debbie :)Read More


    Baby Sandhill Crane “Uno” at Day 6

    Baby Sandhill Crane “Uno” at Day 6 - March 2016

    I returned to check on the baby Sandhill Crane Uno last Saturday, on his sixth day of life.  He had already almost doubled in size since I last saw him!  The little guy spent most of the morning in the weeds by the lake, but he did come out a few times to pose for the camera.  So here are his six-day-old portraits. :) Little Uno is still in his …Read More


    Carpe Camera!  Day-Old Sandhill Crane Colt!

    Carpe Camera! Day-Old Sandhill Crane Colt! - March 2016

    I spent a special morning with a tiny Sandhill Crane colt on the morning after he hatched. Cute pictures of Little Baby Uno!Read More


    Springtime Birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Springtime Birds at Circle B Bar Reserve - February 2016

    Springtime birds at Circle B...American Robins, the Barred Owl, Swamp Sparrows, and a huge flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers! Read More


    Hide and Seek

    Hide and Seek - January 2016

    This is a "digital art" version of a photo from last March.  The two Sandhill Crane colts were just a few days old.  The day was windy and cold, and Mom would occasionally sit down and create an "insta-nest" for her two tired colts.  The babies would scurry behind her back and crawl into her warm feathers. That's the realistic story behind this photo.  After staring at it on our calendar …Read More


    Christmas Coot!

    Christmas Coot! - December 2015

    The weather forecast this morning was a little frightful (mostly cloudy), but the prospect of birding was delightful, so I headed to Viera Wetlands to celebrate a wonderful day off from work!  It was great seeing Michael, Donna, and Mike as the Belted Kingfisher "Miss Viera Sushi" mocked us and evaded her favorite perch. We've having record hot temperatures in Central Florida - it's expected to hit 87 tomorrow on Christmas Day! …Read More


    Black Friday at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Black Friday at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - November 2015

    The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive was more peaceful than the malls on this Black Friday! Little birds all over posed for my cameraRead More


    New Bird Blind at Circle B

    New Bird Blind at Circle B - October 2015

    The new bird blind at Circle B will be great for viewing ducks, but on this morning, my best shot from the blind was a yawning Anhinga!Read More


    Sunrise at the Shell Beach

    Sunrise at the Shell Beach - October 2015

    The "shell beach" brings back fond childhood memories as I see it through adult photographer eyes. What a beautiful sunrise!Read More


    Sunrise at Orlando Wetlands

    Sunrise at Orlando Wetlands - September 2015

    Mother Nature treated me to a beautiful sunrise at Orlando Wetlands Park over my Labor Day vacation. The colors were magnificent!Read More


    A Breath of Fresh Air

    A Breath of Fresh Air - September 2015

    A quiet nature walk at sunrise at Orlando Wetlands Park. Barn Swallows posed for me and the Belted Kingfishers are back in Florida!Read More


    Sunrise and an Almost-Lifer

    Sunrise and an Almost-Lifer - August 2015

    A beautiful sunrise walk along the beach and a mystery bird :)Read More


    Wilson’s Plover Chicks

    Wilson’s Plover Chicks - August 2015

    Four Wilson's Plover chicks at the Matanzas Tern Colony challenged me to focus as they ran around the beach like little monkeysRead More


    Independence Day Sunrise

    Independence Day Sunrise - August 2015

    Independence Day sunrise over Marineland Beach. Nature presented its own version of fireworks as the sun illuminated the pre-dawn cloudsRead More


    Independence Day

    Independence Day - August 2015

    My last visit to the Least Tern colony, where a fledgling danced every time Mom brought in a fish for breakfast! Read More


    My Sunset Project

    My Sunset Project - July 2015

    For over a year, I visited the backroads to complete a "sunset project" and study light. It's amazing how each photograph is different...Read More


    More from the Black Skimmer Colony

    More from the Black Skimmer Colony - July 2015

    Late afternoon is the best time at the Black Skimmer colony. The setting sun bathes the chicks in beautiful golden light as they eat fishRead More


    Return to the Sea – Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings!!

    Return to the Sea – Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings!! - July 2015

    Two tiny Loggerhead Sea Turtle hatchlings make their way to the water this morning at the Archie Carr National Wildlife RefugeRead More


    Father’s Day at the Black Skimmer Colony

    Father’s Day at the Black Skimmer Colony - July 2015

    Another Father's Day at the Black Skimmer Colony, where the nesting is running early this year and the babies were already two weeks oldRead More


    More Precious Moments with the Least Terns

    More Precious Moments with the Least Terns - July 2015

    Another morning with the precious Least Terns and their two-day-old chick, who yawned, ate lots of fish, and jumped for the cameraRead More


    Photographer’s Worst Nightmare

    Photographer’s Worst Nightmare - June 2015

    After a sleepless night and a photographer's worst nightmare (sleeping through sunrise), the beach was beautiful for a "Snowy Egret sunrise"Read More


    Precious Moments with the Least Terns

    Precious Moments with the Least Terns - June 2015

    A quiet morning of lying on the sand yielded some amazing images of two Least Terns with their day-old chick. He was so cute!Read More


    Hey, Hey, We Found the Silver Springs Monkeys!

    Hey, Hey, We Found the Silver Springs Monkeys! - June 2015

    Such a fun hour with twenty-ish Silver Springs monkeys as we photographed them from our pontoon boat. One mother had a tiny baby! So cute!Read More


    A Cruise Down Silver Springs

    A Cruise Down Silver Springs - June 2015

    When Michael invited my dad and me on a monkey cruise at Silver Springs, I had no idea what to expect...it turned out to be awesome!Read More


    Turtle Walk 2015

    Turtle Walk 2015 - June 2015

    Rich and I went on a turtle walk where we got to watch a Loggerhead Sea Turtle lay eggs and return to the ocean. How cool!Read More


    A Least Tern Chick and More Crabs

    A Least Tern Chick and More Crabs - June 2015

    This weekend's visit to the Least Tern colony yielded four chicks and many crabs. The chick was so small and cute. :)Read More


    Lots of Action at the Matanzas Tern Colony!

    Lots of Action at the Matanzas Tern Colony! - June 2015

    Lots of action at the Matanzas Tern Colony, with Least Tern courtship, fish exchanges, and skirmishes with the predator ghost crabs!Read More


    Where’s All the Color?

    Where’s All the Color? - June 2015

    Another beautiful sunrise on the beaches of St. AugustineRead More


    Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - June 2015

    There was lots of activity along the new Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, including nesting Red-winged Blackbirds and newly fledged Barn SwallowsRead More


    Other Birds at the Black Skimmer Colony

    Other Birds at the Black Skimmer Colony - June 2015

    There were more than Black Skimmers to photograph at the Black Skimmer Colony. Cormorants and terns and a surprise oystercatcher...Read More


    Black Skimmer Colony Ramping Up

    Black Skimmer Colony Ramping Up - May 2015

    This year's first Black Skimmer colony visit yielded lots of skimming opportunities and plenty of piggy-back rides! Babies are on the way!!Read More


    Black-necked Stilts Nesting at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

    Black-necked Stilts Nesting at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - May 2015

    The Black-necked Stilt nursery is active at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I saw lots of egg-turning and a spectacular sunsetRead More


    Roseate Spoonbills at the Alligator Farm

    Roseate Spoonbills at the Alligator Farm - May 2015

    An early May visit to the Alligator Farm yielded lots of Roseate Spoonbills, including a very persistent juvenile on the nest with Mom!Read More


    Least Tern Courtship

    Least Tern Courtship - May 2015

    I made my first visit to the Least Tern colony in early May, and the birds were in full courtship mode. Lots of fish exchanges!Read More


    A Magical Sunrise Moment

    A Magical Sunrise Moment - May 2015

    A cloudy morning turned magical when the sun burst through a small opening in the cloudsRead More


    Say Goodbye to the Shorebirds

    Say Goodbye to the Shorebirds - May 2015

    I headed to Fort De Soto in early May to say goodbye to the shorebirds as they leave for their breeding grounds. I saw two Snowy Plovers!Read More


    Springtime at Lakes Morton and Mirror

    Springtime at Lakes Morton and Mirror - May 2015

    Springtime is the best time at Lakes Morton and Mirror, where it's easy to photograph tame birds in breeding plumage, and cute babies!Read More


    Introducing Osprey Baby 2015

    Introducing Osprey Baby 2015 - May 2015

    I met my friend Deb to photograph the Winter Park Osprey baby, who posed for our lenses as he ate his dinner. So cute!Read More


    Breeding Colors on Display at Gatorland

    Breeding Colors on Display at Gatorland - May 2015

    Breeding birds on display at Gatorland in late April, where the Cattle Egrets posed for head shots and the Snowies showed off their plumesRead More


    Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Fort De Soto!

    Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Fort De Soto! - May 2015

    A tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Fort De Soto let me photograph him as he re-fueled on his long migration journey. Read More


    Vacation Beginnings at Fort De Soto

    Vacation Beginnings at Fort De Soto - April 2015

    My first photo outing in almost two months, on the wonderful beaches of Fort De Soto! My first Red Knot in breeding plumage... :)Read More


    Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands March Field Trip

    Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands March Field Trip - March 2015

    My dad and I enjoyed the March field trip to the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands. The winter birds have left and nesting has begun!Read More


    This Year’s Sandhill Crane Colts

    This Year’s Sandhill Crane Colts - March 2015

    This year's Sandhill Crane colts are just as cute as ever! A windy morning gave me several opportunities for nesting shots with Mom.Read More


    My First Male Bufflehead!

    My First Male Bufflehead! - February 2015

    I finally saw a male Bufflehead over Christmas break. His feathers glistened in the sunlight - what a cool bird!Read More


    Father Goose’s Cousin

    Father Goose’s Cousin - February 2015

    I thought Father Goose was unique on Lake Morton, but I found another goose in Orlando that has befriended a family of Muscovy ducklings :)Read More


    In Search of Swooning Swans at Lake Morton

    In Search of Swooning Swans at Lake Morton - February 2015

    The swans didn't do much swooning for me at Lake Morton, but the new pair of Coscoroba Swans posed for my dad and me.Read More


    Western Kingbird and More

    Western Kingbird and More - February 2015

    I saw my lifer Western Kingbird with my dad on a bird exploration expedition. It was a fun morning!Read More


    Photographing Thousands of Gulls

    Photographing Thousands of Gulls - February 2015

    I went to Daytona Beach Shores to see the thousands of gulls that roost there. Blurs were my favorite way to convey the sheer numbers...Read More


    Birds That Are Not Purple

    Birds That Are Not Purple - February 2015

    Rich and I headed to Daytona for birds and dinner. The Purple Sandpiper eluded us, but we did see some birds that weren't purple!Read More


    Sandhill Crane Memories and Topaz Glow

    Sandhill Crane Memories and Topaz Glow - February 2015

    I processed some of my Sandhill Crane family pictures in Topaz Glow. What a fun program! I loved all the different effects.Read More


    My Lifer Whooping Crane

    My Lifer Whooping Crane - February 2015

    A very poor shot of my far-off lifer Whooping Crane, plus a bunch of birds from Joe Overstreet Road. Fun morning!Read More


    Say Hi To Herman’s Eagles

    Say Hi To Herman’s Eagles - January 2015

    Two tiny heads peeked out to say hello at Herman's eagle nest. It was great to see the baby birds!Read More


    Long Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Long Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2015

    My dad and I walked a ton at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Sunday. Great shots of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers!Read More


    Lifer Clapper Rail at Merritt Island NWR

    Lifer Clapper Rail at Merritt Island NWR - January 2015

    I photographed my lifer Clapper Rail at Merritt Island NWR last weekend, along with Sora and Long-tailed Duck, and an awesome sunset!Read More


    Good Birds, Bad Light at Merritt Island NWR

    Good Birds, Bad Light at Merritt Island NWR - January 2015

    The light was bad but the birds were good this weekend at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Wigeons and loons were close!Read More


    Venice Rookery

    Venice Rookery - January 2015

    I drove down to the Venice Rookery in mid-January to check out the nesting Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. Read More


    More Common Goldeneye

    More Common Goldeneye - January 2015

    The Common Goldeneye is still at the Seminole Towne Center, so I went back to get some more photos. The sun was actually out!Read More


    January Field Trip – Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands

    January Field Trip – Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands - January 2015

    The January field trip to the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands was photography paradise. 32 Fulvous Whistling Ducks! Flight shots galore...Read More


    Hooded Show-Offs

    Hooded Show-Offs - January 2015

    The Hooded Mergansers hanging out with the Common Goldeneye were quite the show-offs. I enjoyed watching their courtship behaviors.Read More


    Fogbow and a Falcon at Viera Wetlands

    Fogbow and a Falcon at Viera Wetlands - January 2015

    A fogbow and a falcon started off the morning at Viera Wetlands. Then nesting Great Blue Herons and a Belted Kingfisher charmed us...Read More


    Search for the Groove-billed Ani

    Search for the Groove-billed Ani - January 2015

    My first lifer of 2015 was a Groove-billed Ani at the Lake Apopka Restoration Area. A foggy silly morning with friends... :)Read More


    Great Blue Heron Silhouettes at Viera Wetlands

    Great Blue Heron Silhouettes at Viera Wetlands - January 2015

    The beautiful sunrise made a great background for the nesting Great Blue Herons at Viera Wetlands. Silhouette courtship fun! :)Read More


    Lifer Common Goldeneye

    Lifer Common Goldeneye - December 2014

    I saw my lifer Common Goldeneye tonight, at a pond in Sanford. She was hanging out with Hooded Mergansers and gave me a nice wing flap.Read More


    Lakeland Christmas Bird Count 2014

    Lakeland Christmas Bird Count 2014 - December 2014

    I helped survey the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands for the 2014 Lakeland Christmas Bird Count. Rarities included avocets, stilts, Snail Kites Read More


    Coot Glamour Shots at Lake Mirror

    Coot Glamour Shots at Lake Mirror - December 2014

    I played with my new 7D Mark II and the available birds - the coots! Coot glamour shots turned out to be fun. :)Read More


    Ducks are Back at Lake Morton

    Ducks are Back at Lake Morton - November 2014

    Ducks are back at Lake Morton! They gave me some good wing-flaps last weekend when the sun finally came out.Read More


    Fun with Friends at Viera Wetlands

    Fun with Friends at Viera Wetlands - November 2014

    Early morning in a sewage treatment plant - fun! The Viera Wetlands Belted Kingfisher came close as Michael protested his stolen sunriseRead More


    My Mom’s Hummingbird

    My Mom’s Hummingbird - November 2014

    My mom's hummingbird posed for me and my camera, striking a pose on a nice branch and cooperatively sitting on her favorite perch.Read More


    Last Orlando Wetlands Park Visit of the Year

    Last Orlando Wetlands Park Visit of the Year - November 2014

    The birds were great at Orlando Wetlands Park. Eagles and whistling ducks and a Peregrine Falcon, oh my!Read More


    Rare Birds at the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands

    Rare Birds at the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands - November 2014

    I got to see American Avocets, Stilt Sandpipers, Black-necked Stilts, and Snail Kites this morning at the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands!Read More


    Playing Peek-a-Boo and Hide-and-Seek at Bok Tower

    Playing Peek-a-Boo and Hide-and-Seek at Bok Tower - November 2014

    Bok Tower birding was great - we found Red-headed Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and a Painted BuntingRead More


    Red-Headed Woodpeckers at Bok Tower

    Red-Headed Woodpeckers at Bok Tower - October 2014

    Fun morning photographing the Red-headed Woodpeckers at Bok Tower, along with the visiting Rufous Hummingbird! The Blue Jays showed off tooRead More


    Banded Piping Plover Information

    Banded Piping Plover Information - October 2014

    The USGS Bird Banding Lab replied to me about the banded Piping Plovers that I saw at Fort De Soto back in September. Read More


    Annual Search for My Pole-Vaulters

    Annual Search for My Pole-Vaulters - October 2014

    Quiet morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve, in search of my favorite "pole vaulters", the Purple Gallinules on alligator flag reedsRead More


    Cool Fall Day at Orlando Wetlands Park

    Cool Fall Day at Orlando Wetlands Park - October 2014

    Michael and I spent the first cool fall day at Orlando Wetlands Park, where we enjoyed a sunrise, dancing Snowy Egrets, and a cute surprise!Read More


    Sandhill Cranes Grow Up Quickly

    Sandhill Cranes Grow Up Quickly - October 2014

    Sandhill Cranes grow up quickly! I photographed my little family twice more, when the colts were 5 and 19 days old. Read More


    The Best Morning with My Sandhill Crane Colts (From April)

    The Best Morning with My Sandhill Crane Colts (From April) - September 2014

    The best morning with my Sandhill Crane colts yielded lots of bugs, lots of playtime romps, a photobomb, and a cute head shot!Read More


    Return to the Nest (Sandhill Crane Colts from April)

    Return to the Nest (Sandhill Crane Colts from April) - September 2014

    More cute Sandhill Crane colts covered in grass seeds as they made their way back to the nest for a rousing romp and a sweet good nightRead More


    Hatch Day +1 (Sandhill Crane Colts from April)

    Hatch Day +1 (Sandhill Crane Colts from April) - September 2014

    Continuing the story of "my" Sandhill Crane colts...images from their first morning of life, on the nest with MomRead More


    It’s Not Easy Being Me!  (Sandhill Crane Colts from April)

    It’s Not Easy Being Me! (Sandhill Crane Colts from April) - September 2014

    Revisiting favorite shots from the spring...wonderful video of my tiny colts playing at the nest on their first full day in the world.Read More


    Crazy Photographer Alert

    Crazy Photographer Alert - September 2014

    Rich captured some fun images of me from Fort De Soto. He had his first-of-fall crazy photographer sighting!Read More


    Fall Getaway to Fort De Soto

    Fall Getaway to Fort De Soto - September 2014

    Rich and I escaped for a fall getaway to Fort De Soto, where we photographed migrating shorebirds and pretty Roseate SpoonbillsRead More


    Lifer Snowy Plover at Fort De Soto!

    Lifer Snowy Plover at Fort De Soto! - August 2014

    I scored my lifer Snowy Plover last week at Fort De Soto, along with several Piping Plovers. It was a four-plover trip! Not bad!Read More


    Least Tern Chicks (from June)

    Least Tern Chicks (from June) - August 2014

    Back in June, I got to photograph tiny newborn Least Tern chicks with their parents. There was such excitement when Dad brought in a fish!Read More


    Least Terns in Love

    Least Terns in Love - August 2014

    I finally got to photograph some Least Tern piggy-back rides this spring!Read More


    Least Tern Courtship (from June)

    Least Tern Courtship (from June) - August 2014

    Back in June, I photographed some fun Least Tern courtship. The male's fish was rejected by his unfeeling prospective suitor!Read More


    Summertime Sunrise

    Summertime Sunrise - August 2014

    Images from a beautiful summer sunrise on the beach. Read More


    Food Fight!  Silly Laughing Gulls

    Food Fight! Silly Laughing Gulls - August 2014

    On my last trip to the beach, a pair of ladies made friends with a flock of Laughing Gulls, who staged some great mid-air food fights!Read More


    Small Things to Make You Smile (Lake Morton)

    Small Things to Make You Smile (Lake Morton) - August 2014

    A summer morning at Lake Morton led me to tiny turtles, young swans, and a protective Father Goose with teenage Muscovy Ducks.Read More


    Swallow-tailed Kite Roost

    Swallow-tailed Kite Roost - August 2014

    We visited a Swallow-tailed Kite roost last weekend. The sheer number of birds was amazing! A few of my photos were even in focus :)Read More


    Juvenile Black Skimmers in Flight

    Juvenile Black Skimmers in Flight - July 2014

    The juvenile Black Skimmers grow up so quickly! Already they are flying and skimming like their parents. Read More


    Juvenile Black Skimmers Meet the Water

    Juvenile Black Skimmers Meet the Water - July 2014

    I returned to Indian Rocks hoping to see the juvenile Black Skimmers head to the water and maybe fly. The surprise was the newborn chicks!Read More


    Week-Old Black Skimmers are Still Cute!

    Week-Old Black Skimmers are Still Cute! - July 2014

    The week-old Black Skimmers are no longer wet from the egg, but they are still pretty cute! My favorite shot was a big baby yawn...Read More


    What a Mouthful!

    What a Mouthful! - July 2014

    Tonight's is going to be a short post, as I am putting the final details on my photography presentation that I will give this Friday as guest speaker at the Trout Lake Nature Center.  I'm really looking forward to sharing some fun images with some great people.  While I've been approached several times through my website to do a presentation like this, this is the first time that I've had …Read More


    More Cute Baby Black Skimmers

    More Cute Baby Black Skimmers - July 2014

    I returned to the beach for a second evening with the cute baby Black Skimmers, tiny clowns who are such a joy to photograph!Read More


    Black Skimmer Hatchlings (Cuteness Alert!)

    Black Skimmer Hatchlings (Cuteness Alert!) - July 2014

    A visit to the beach with Black Skimmer hatchlings always yields cute photographic moments! Adorable shots from my favorite summer locationRead More


    Tug of War – Black Skimmer Chicks

    Tug of War – Black Skimmer Chicks - June 2014

    Recently hatched Black Skimmer chicks are always fun to photograph, especially when they play tug-of-war over a needlefish!Read More


    Revisiting an Old Favorite – Milky Way Photography

    Revisiting an Old Favorite – Milky Way Photography - June 2014

    After reading David Kingham's Nightscape book, I revisited an old Milky Way shot and redid the post-processing. I'm loving the result!Read More


    Double-Crested Cormorant Still Looking Spiffy!

    Double-Crested Cormorant Still Looking Spiffy! - June 2014

    A Double-crested Cormorant surprised me this weekend. Still in breeding plumage, his bright blue eye and mouth are awesome!Read More


    Sunrise and A Gopher Tortoise!

    Sunrise and A Gopher Tortoise! - June 2014

    The backroads of Lake County make for beautiful sunrises. You never know what you'll find out there, like this tiny gopher tortoise!Read More


    We’ll Never Know – Burrowing Owl Nest Abandoned

    We’ll Never Know – Burrowing Owl Nest Abandoned - June 2014

    We'll never know what happened to our local Burrowing Owl family. The adults have abandoned the burrow and the babies never emerged. :(Read More


    Magnificent Frigatebirds with my Dad

    Magnificent Frigatebirds with my Dad - June 2014

    My dad and I had a great time photographing some Magnificent Frigatebirds at Fort De Soto. A great way to celebrate his birthday!Read More


    Meet My Friend Bob – Bobwhite!

    Meet My Friend Bob – Bobwhite! - June 2014

    A Northern Bobwhite surprised me with his sudden appearance, and he sang for my camera as he let me get nice close-up shots! Bob, Bob White!Read More


    Shorebirds Leaving Florida for the Summer

    Shorebirds Leaving Florida for the Summer - May 2014

    The shorebirds are leaving Florida for their nesting grounds. I photographed some of them in breeding colors at Fort De Soto a few weeks agoRead More


    Sticks from the Sky – Winter Park Osprey Nest

    Sticks from the Sky – Winter Park Osprey Nest - May 2014

    I spent a few hours at the Winter Park Osprey nest, where I photographed this year's Osprey chick with his parents. Fish for dinner, yum!Read More


    The Quest for a Black Belly Concludes?

    The Quest for a Black Belly Concludes? - May 2014

    My ongoing quest for black belly! Black-bellied Plovers often leave Florida before completing their molt. Did I finally get one?Read More


    Least Tern Fish Exchanges and Courtship

    Least Tern Fish Exchanges and Courtship - May 2014

    Two weeks ago at Fort De Soto I got to photograph Least Tern fish exchanges and courtship rituals on North Beach. It was so much fun!Read More


    Around Lake Morton

    Around Lake Morton - May 2014

    A spring morning is a great time to walk around Lake Morton. While I didn't see babies, the lingering winter migrants kept me entertained.Read More


    Say Hello to Mrs. Cottonball Head

    Say Hello to Mrs. Cottonball Head - May 2014

    Sometimes it's fun to photograph rare or strange birds. Other times the most common birds make me smile, like Mrs. Cottonball Head!Read More


    Summer Sunset and a Common Night Hawk

    Summer Sunset and a Common Night Hawk - May 2014

    Summer sunsets along the back roads of Florida are fun, especially when the Common Nighthawks fly in circles over your head!Read More


    Beach Bird Heuristics for Rich

    Beach Bird Heuristics for Rich - May 2014

    When my non-photographer hubby accompanied me to Fort De Soto, I gave him tips on finding good beach birds, like my very first Whimbrel!Read More


    Least Tern Fish Exchanges

    Least Tern Fish Exchanges - May 2014

    On my last trip to Fort De Soto I photographed several Least Tern fish exchanges as these tiny birds performed their courtship rituals.Read More


    More Migrant Songbirds at Fort De Soto

    More Migrant Songbirds at Fort De Soto - May 2014

    More shots of migrant songbirds at Fort De Soto, including a lifer Bay-breasted Warbler and some great American Redstarts. Read More


    Royal Tern Courtship

    Royal Tern Courtship - May 2014

    I finally got to photograph Royal Tern courtship. The Royal Terns exchanged fish and crabs before mating on North Beach. What a fun morning!Read More


    Photographing Scarlet Tanagers Eating Insects

    Photographing Scarlet Tanagers Eating Insects - May 2014

    I had such a great weekend at Fort De Soto with the migrant birds not too long ago, and one of the best parts was photographing the Scarlet Tanagers.  The bright red feathers and black wings of the males are very striking.  At the East Beach, I found about ten tanagers that were feeding near the entrance to the Privet Trail.  They didn't seem to mind all the crowds and …Read More


    Migrant Birds at Fort De Soto

    Migrant Birds at Fort De Soto - April 2014

    Two weekends ago I had the most amazing morning photographing the migrant birds at Fort De Soto.  The trees were literally dropping with colorful birds.  Red tanagers, orange orioles, blue buntings and grosbeaks, and warblers everywhere.  It was a birder's paradise. Good birding isn't always good for the birds.  Most of these birds spend the winters in South America.  In April, they fly north to their breeding grounds in the …Read More


    Blue Cypress Lake Photography: Sunrise and Ospreys!

    Blue Cypress Lake Photography: Sunrise and Ospreys! - April 2014

    It's that time of year again!  Time to drive down to Yeehaw Junction in the crazy-early hours of the morning for some Blue Cypress Lake photography. :)  A sunrise pontoon boat ride on gorgeous Blue Cypress Lake is totally worth the early morning.  My friends Michael, Debbie, and Debbie's Sherpa Tom and I met two weekends ago for a fun morning of landscapes and birding.  You see, Blue Cypress Lake …Read More


    Lots of Good Color at the Gatorland Rookery

    Lots of Good Color at the Gatorland Rookery - April 2014

    Some friends convinced me to visit Gatorland in early April, and I'm really glad I went!  I was a little burned out on rookery photography after the past few years, and I wasn't looking forward to fighting the crowds on the boardwalk.  But the birds were more than worth it.  We had excellent opportunities with Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and especially the Cattle Egrets. The Great Egrets are in all …Read More


    Happy Easter!

    Happy Easter! - April 2014

    Just a quick post today, to say Happy Easter!  I've been keeping this adorable Sandhill Crane colt shot for Easter because he is just so cute and so perfect for the day.  This is the same colt that I saw hatch a week and a half ago.  He was about 36 hours old at this point, and the long walk from his nest tired him out!  I still have more …Read More


    Springtime Bird Photography at Fort De Soto

    Springtime Bird Photography at Fort De Soto - April 2014

    April is my favorite time to visit Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The sandy beaches are beautiful, the spring winds are cool, and my toes get to wiggle in the ocean water as I photograph the birds molting into their breeding plumage.  An April visit always has the possibility of a fallout, where migratory birds are caught by rainstorms as they cross the Gulf of Mexico, so they …Read More


    Out of the Egg: I Saw a Sandhill Crane Hatch!!!

    Out of the Egg: I Saw a Sandhill Crane Hatch!!! - April 2014

    I got to photograph a Sandhill Crane hatch! What a wonderful night with this special family of birds.Read More


    Spring Morning at Orlando Wetlands Park

    Spring Morning at Orlando Wetlands Park - April 2014

    On the morning that Deb and I saw Rich's awesome turtle, we also saw a bunch of fun birds.  Springtime is the best time of year for Central Florida nature photography.  Some of our winter visitors are still hanging around, the migrants start to move through, and the local birds get all spiffy-looking for courtship and breeding.  So I was excited to get out and see what we could find …Read More


    Snapping Turtle for Rich

    Snapping Turtle for Rich - April 2014

    A fun surprise at the Orlando Wetlands Park, a snapping turtle crawled out on the road and let me take pictures of him.Read More


    One More Morning with the Sandhill Crane Family

    One More Morning with the Sandhill Crane Family - April 2014

    One last morning with my Sandhill Crane family. The colts were seven days old, and they squabbled, danced, and played hide and seek. Cute!Read More


    Bath Time for the Sandhill Crane Colts

    Bath Time for the Sandhill Crane Colts - March 2014

    I got a kick out of watching the tiny Sandhill Crane colts go wading into the water. They are pretty good little swimmers!Read More


    Three Days Older, Three Days Cuter – Sandhill Crane Colts

    Three Days Older, Three Days Cuter – Sandhill Crane Colts - March 2014

    Fun morning spent with six-day-old Sandhill Crane colts, who captivated me with cuteness as they played, fed, and danced for my cameraRead More


    Leaps of Faith – Sandhill Crane Colts

    Leaps of Faith – Sandhill Crane Colts - March 2014

    Funny photo vignette of Sandhill Crane colts learning to climbRead More


    Sandhill Crane Colts: Day 3

    Sandhill Crane Colts: Day 3 - March 2014

    I got to photograph Sandhill Crane colts on their third day of life. Cuteness abounded as they fed, played, and learned how to fly (almost)Read More


    Hatch Day for the Sandhill Cranes

    Hatch Day for the Sandhill Cranes - March 2014

    It's that time of year again!  I hope you like pictures of cute little Sandhill Crane colts, because you're going to be seeing a lot of them in this blog in the next few weeks.  Last weekend I started making the rounds, checking on known nests from previous years.  Then my friend texted me saying "Mom is eating the eggshell!"  So I hurried to that nest and found this family …Read More


    Viera Wetlands and Scrub Jays with my Dad

    Viera Wetlands and Scrub Jays with my Dad - March 2014

    Regular readers of my blog will know that my dad and I love to go out on photo expeditions together.  With my crazy work schedule, we haven't been out much lately.  All winter I've been promising him a trip to Viera Wetlands.  Well, we finally went!  The wetlands were a little quiet, but we had some good photo ops.  Then on the way back, we stopped off to see Scrub …Read More


    What Took Me So Long?  Lake Mirror Is Great!

    What Took Me So Long? Lake Mirror Is Great! - March 2014

    I often visit Lake Morton in Lakeland, but I had never ridden over to nearby Lake Mirror.  Several photographer friends keep asking me if I have photographed the Mandarin Ducks there.   The City of Lakeland introduced the mandarins and a couple of Shelducks, which are both exotic species (not native to Florida).  I finally stopped at Lake Mirror this weekend.  It was great!  I can't believe it took me …Read More


    Springtime Walk at Lake Morton

    Springtime Walk at Lake Morton - March 2014

    Last weekend I visited Lake Morton in hopes of photographing swan courtship.  My friend Kim recently posted an amazing image of two "love birds" whose necks came together to form a heart on the lake.  It's a touching reminder that it's my favorite time of the year: baby bird season!  I can't wait for the cygnets to grace the shores of the lake with their sweetness and their antics.  Alas, …Read More


    Bend and Snap:  Breeding Double-Crested Cormorants

    Bend and Snap: Breeding Double-Crested Cormorants - March 2014

    A few weekends ago at Viera Wetlands, I photographed this Double-crested Cormorant on a palm tree trunk in front of me.  The bird sat there staring at me with his gorgeous bright blue eye, which is one of the features of his breeding plumage.  He stared at me so long that I got tired of waiting for him to do something.  Then quickly, he bent down, scooping his neck low …Read More


    Great Horned Owl Nest at Fort De Soto

    Great Horned Owl Nest at Fort De Soto - March 2014

    Two weeks ago, my dad and I drove over to Fort De Soto to photograph the Great Horned Owl nest.  At the time, the owlets were two weeks old.  Ever since I saw Marina Scarr's highly honored image in the Windland Smith Rice photo contest, I've wanted to see a similar scene - the mother owl with her owlet tucked under her wing, with only his face visible, nestled in …Read More


    Fun with the Scrub Jays

    Fun with the Scrub Jays - February 2014

    After shooting at Viera Wetlands last weekend, my friend Michael took me to a new place, a Florida Scrub Jay trail.  I don't have a whole lot of experience photographing Scrub Jays.  They are a threatened species, and their habitat is in decline.  I've photographed them at the Scrub Jay Trail at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and my dad and I tried for them once at Lyonia Preserve, but …Read More


    Great Blue Herons Stealing Sticks at Viera Wetlands

    Great Blue Herons Stealing Sticks at Viera Wetlands - February 2014

    The nesting Great Blue Herons were stealing sticks at Viera Wetlands last weekend. The nest's owner wasn't too happy with the thieves!Read More


    Great Blue Heron Sunrise at Viera Wetlands

    Great Blue Heron Sunrise at Viera Wetlands - February 2014

    I almost slept in yesterday morning.  After working for six weeks straight with only two days off, I was tired.   Then I saw the radar at 5am and almost didn't go at all.  Finally I said to myself, "Self, get out there and have fun!"  I'm so glad I did!  I met Michael Libbe at Viera Wetlands and we set up for sunrise silhouettes of the nesting Great Blue …Read More


    Juvenile Shorebirds from Last Summer

    Juvenile Shorebirds from Last Summer - February 2014

    I found some images from last summer that I had never processed.  In August I spent several mornings at Indian Rocks Beach photographing the nesting Black Skimmers, but the skimmers weren't the only birds who posed for me.  The juvenile shorebirds also put on a show for the camera.  I especially liked the juvenile terns, who had reached the point that they were almost-self sufficient, but they didn't know it …Read More


    Viera Wetlands Nesting Season in Full Swing

    Viera Wetlands Nesting Season in Full Swing - February 2014

    The Viera Wetlands nesting season is in full swing with Great Blue Heron fly-ins, courtship rituals, and even the first small chicksRead More


    A New Place to Photograph: Holloway Park, Lakeland, FL

    A New Place to Photograph: Holloway Park, Lakeland, FL - January 2014

    I visited Holloway Park for the first time and enjoyed observing the Bald Eagle nest. I can't wait to return on a nice weather day!Read More


    Peregrine Falcon at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Peregrine Falcon at the Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2014

    On a cloudy day over Christmas break, I started the morning at Lake Morton and then made a stop to look for the Peregrine Falcon at the  Circle B Bar Reserve.  The Peregrine Falcon had been hanging around for several weeks, and I wanted to get some non-captive shots of this pretty species. It was a gray, cloudy day.  I walked up the Heron Hideout trail, pausing to say hello …Read More


    Cloudy Morning Walk at Lake Morton

    Cloudy Morning Walk at Lake Morton - January 2014

    Three days after Christmas, the weather forecasters promised us some sun.  It was a welcome forecast, as it had been cloudy for days.  So I got up early and headed to Lake Morton for sunrise.  I hadn't been there to visit my swans in quite a while.  But it was another dull gray day.  You couldn't tell when the sun rose because the clouds were so thick.  Yuck! When I …Read More


    Finally!  Nice Weather for a Walk at Circle B

    Finally! Nice Weather for a Walk at Circle B - January 2014

    As you will read in upcoming blog posts, the weather wasn't so great over my Christmas vacation.  So when the forecast called for sun today, I headed for a nice walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I wasn't the only one, either!  There were tons of people there.  I took the Alligator Alley trail to look for pelicans and the bobcat kittens, but knew I'd likely never see the …Read More


    Seeking the Ash-throated Flycatcher in Florida

    Seeking the Ash-throated Flycatcher in Florida - January 2014

    After visiting the nesting Great Blue Herons at Viera Wetlands before Christmas, Michael and I drove down the road to the Moccasin Island Tract to see a rare Ash-throated Flycatcher in Florida.  Ash-throated Flycatchers typically live in the western US, so this guy is a little far from home!  We parked, spotted a flycatcher-like bird on a post, and I got two very quick shots before the bird flew off. …Read More


    Nesting Great Blue Herons at Viera Wetlands

    Nesting Great Blue Herons at Viera Wetlands - January 2014

    It's getting to be my favorite time of year - bird nesting season!  For those of us lucky to live in Florida, spring seems to come pretty early, with owls and eagles starting to nest as early as November.  The Great Blue Herons are the first of the large wading birds to begin nesting.   A fun place to photograph nesting Great Blue Herons is the Viera Wetlands.  If you …Read More


    Snowy Owl in Florida!!!

    Snowy Owl in Florida!!! - January 2014

    I got to photograph a Snowy Owl in Florida! In the most gorgeous sunset golden light - it was incredible!!!Read More


    Lakeland Christmas Bird Count 2013 – I Found Pelicans!

    Lakeland Christmas Bird Count 2013 – I Found Pelicans! - December 2013

    I participated in the 2013 Lakeland Christmas Bird Count. Rarites included Nelson's Sparrow, Franklin's Gull, and White-Faced Ibis.Read More


    Wow!  Honorable Mention in NWF Photo Contest!

    Wow! Honorable Mention in NWF Photo Contest! - December 2013

    Oh my gosh!  Yesterday I received this e-mail: Your photo of a Mute Swan Cygnet has won an Honorable Mention in our 2013 National Wildlife Photo Contest.  It will appear in a slide show on the National Wildlife Federation’s website in the magazine’s PhotoZone pages in January. It will also be considered for our Photo of the Week and Caption Contest during 2014. Congratulations on being a finalist in our competition! My Honorable …Read More


    2013 Christmas Ornament – A Puffin!

    2013 Christmas Ornament – A Puffin! - December 2013

    Regular readers of my blog may recall that I cross-stitch an ornament every year for our Christmas tree.  This year's subject was a no-brainer - what was one of the most incredible things we did this year?  Go see puffins, of course! I thought the ornament turned out pretty well.  It looks very similar to one of the pictures from my trip to Machias Seal Island… On our boat ride …Read More


    The Splash of Shamu

    The Splash of Shamu - December 2013

    Rich's folks visited this weekend, and we took them to Sea World.  While I normally photograph wild animals, often inspired by my favorite cats and turtles, I've always had a fascination for dolphins and whales.  My dad and I went to Sea World often when I was growing up, and I used to love the shows with the leaping whales.  Now the trainers aren't allowed in the water with Shamu, …Read More


    Promise of Eaglets at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Promise of Eaglets at the Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2013

    On the last day of Thanksgiving break, my dad and I were excited to take his friend Dr. B to the Circle B Bar Reserve.  Dr. B has been to lots of fun places to photograph, but it was his first time at Circle B.  We arrived just before sunrise and found a gray, nasty morning.  The fog was thick and there wasn't even a hint of the sun.  We …Read More


    Chasing Lifers

    Chasing Lifers - November 2013

    Michael Libbe and I had two goals on our recent trip to the Circle B Bar Reserve: to photograph the yellow flowers at sunrise, and to go chasing lifers!  A group of Fulvous Whistling Ducks has started to hang out at Circle B, and while I've caught a few quick glimpses of them, they would have been a lifer for Michael.  Cole also found a Grasshopper Sparrow not too long …Read More


    Yellow Flowers are Back at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Yellow Flowers are Back at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2013

    The yellow flowers are back at the Circle B Bar Reserve!  Each year in November, the marsh landscape bursts into color with the blooms of the burr marigolds.  These flowers are of the scientific genus bidens, and another common name for them is beggartick.  They are native to Florida and grow well in swampy locations like Circle B.  Their seeds stick easily to clothing and animal fur, so they spread really …Read More


    Some Birds, the Moon, and Sensor Dust!

    Some Birds, the Moon, and Sensor Dust! - November 2013

    Yesterday at the Circle B Bar Reserve, Michael and I came across a group of White Ibis in my "treasure tree" along the Heron Hideout trail.  I've had many lifers in that tree, but I almost passed it without a second glance when I saw just a few common White Ibises at the treetop.  Then I noticed the moon.  Then I realized I could frame a bird portrait with the …Read More


    Fall Blooms at Callaway Gardens

    Fall Blooms at Callaway Gardens - November 2013

    We spent a weekend in north Georgia recently to capture some of the fall foliage, and I tucked my macro lens into my bag, looking forward to the opportunity to photograph some flowers as well.  The fall blooms at Callaway Gardens are always fun to shoot.  The gardens have large spectacular displays of mums, and the camellias are also in bloom.  It's strange to see the leaves falling off the …Read More


    Fall Colors at Callaway Gardens

    Fall Colors at Callaway Gardens - November 2013

    Rich and I did a quick getaway trip to Callaway Gardens last weekend.  Callaway Gardens is located in Georgia, about an hour southwest of Atlanta.  My photography goal for the trip was fall leaves.   While the peak color is past in places like New England or along the Great Smoky Mountains, the leaves are just now changing in north Georgia.  I kept an eye on the Georgia Leaf Watch …Read More


    Sunrise and a Vermilion Flycatcher

    Sunrise and a Vermilion Flycatcher - November 2013

    When Michael Libbe and I headed out to Orlando Wetlands Park in late October, we had two goals: to photograph a great sunrise and a Vermilion Flycatcher.  Michael ordered some nice wispy clouds for sunrise, and he sorta got his wish.  I love being at the wetlands for sunrise, but I'm always annoyed at my pictures because there is so much clutter in the water and in the foreground.  I …Read More


    More Birding Fun at Viera

    More Birding Fun at Viera - November 2013

    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 …Read More


    Roseate Spoonbills at Viera Wetlands

    Roseate Spoonbills at Viera Wetlands - November 2013

    There are so many Roseate Spoonbills at Viera Wetlands right now!  The Click Ponds were recently drained, and the low water levels have attracted lots of wading birds, especially Roseate Spoonbills.  It's an incredible sight to drive up and see several hundred spoonies feeding in a group right in front of you!  The Roseate Spoonbills are some of my favorite birds.  Their pink feathers and long spoonbills are such fun …Read More


    If At First You Don’t Succeed…Try, Try Again!

    If At First You Don’t Succeed…Try, Try Again! - October 2013

    Yesterday morning I went to the Viera Wetlands to photograph Roseate Spoonbills.  The water levels at the Click Ponds are very low, which attracts hundreds of wading birds.  Besides the spoonies, there were American White Pelicans, Wood Storks, Snowy Egrets, Sandhill Cranes, and a variety of shorebirds.  They all hang out at one corner of one of the ponds in a large flock.  It was birdy paradise, but a challenge …Read More


    Show-Offs at Lake Morton

    Show-Offs at Lake Morton - October 2013

    This summer at Lake Morton, I amused myself while on swan nest-watch by taking pictures of all the ducks and geese as they bathed in the lake.  Early mornings seem to be best for bathtime.  The birds are such fun to watch as they splash around, flapping their wings back and forth.  Besides, it's fun to try to capture bath-time moments.  You never know how your shots will turn out …Read More


    Better Hurry, Alligator Flags at Circle B are Fading!

    Better Hurry, Alligator Flags at Circle B are Fading! - October 2013

    This weekend I had the rare opportunity to visit the Circle B Bar Reserve in the afternoon.  I've been there dozens of times in the morning, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've seen the sun set over the marshes.  It's always disconcerting to see the dramatically different afternoon light - and I often catch myself saying "good morning" to people out of pure …Read More


    Sunrise at the Shell Beach

    Sunrise at the Shell Beach - October 2013

    Down by my grandfather's place is a wonderful beach known in our family as the "Shell Beach."  As children my cousins and I played there, gathering shells and other treasures of the ocean.  It remains a special place, not just for the shells but for the beautiful beach sunrise vistas.  I took these last May when I visited south Florida to photograph the Burrowing Owls. It was one of those …Read More


    Winter Birds Returning to the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Winter Birds Returning to the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2013

    The winter birds are returning to the Circle B Bar Reserve!  My dad and I had a great walk yesterday morning.  We saw our first-of-fall Eastern Phoebes, Gray Catbirds, Marsh Wrens, and a surprise flock of American White Pelicans flying over the marsh.  It was fun to welcome our birdy friends back to the Sunshine State! When we first arrived on the Heron Hideout trail, a very cooperative Belted Kingfisher …Read More


    Fields of Yellow Flowers Under the Rainbow

    Fields of Yellow Flowers Under the Rainbow - October 2013

    After several years of drooling over my friends' images, I finally made it out to Lake Jesup for the wildflowers this year.  Wow!!!  I found fields of yellow flowers under the rainbow!  It was just amazing! For those not familiar with the area, Lake Jesup is a large lake northeast of Orlando, close to Sanford.  In late September and early October, the fields around the lake erupt into bright yellow …Read More


    Fall Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Fall Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2013

    Yesterday I finally made it out for a fall walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I haven't been there in months!  It felt great to get back out on the trails.  I love photographing along the Heron Hideout trail early in the morning on these early fall days.  The light is golden and gorgeous, illuminating the birds that are starting to return to the reserve.  The Alligator Flag plants …Read More


    December 2014 will be a Good Month!

    December 2014 will be a Good Month! - October 2013

    I received some good news yesterday.  The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program's 2014 calendar will again feature one of my images.  They picked one of my favorite sunrise shots from the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I love how the sky reflects in the water as the sun peeks out through the clouds.   Look for it in December…it's going to be a good month! :)


    A Shrike and a Kestrel

    A Shrike and a Kestrel - September 2013

    Birding is starting to pick up again after a long hot summer.  The first day of fall was officially on September 22, although temperatures in Florida continue well into the upper 80s and 90s.  But there's a hope in sight: the lows are forecast to dip into the 60s this week!  I've been working crazy hours again, so it's been hard to find time for shooting.  But I've been working …Read More


    Bok Tower in Bloom

    Bok Tower in Bloom - September 2013

    A few weeks ago I spent a Saturday morning at Bok Tower, a wonderful garden in Lake Wales, Florida.  It was architected by Frederick Law Olmstead and  dedicated by President Coolidge in 1929.  The tower itself is fun to photograph, but what attracted me was the possibility of migrant warblers.  I seem to find a lot of them on good days.  There was also a Rufous Hummingbird that visited there …Read More


    More from Lake Morton

    More from Lake Morton - September 2013

    There were lots of fun birds to photograph on my last visit to Lake Morton.  Besides the juvenile swans, there was a family of baby Limpkins, as well as the regular "menagerie" of ducks and geese.  Early mornings are always good for bath shots!  So here's some more from Lake Morton… A pair of Black-necked Swans was added to the lake last year.  They are very pretty, and I really …Read More


    Mute Swan Cygnets Returned to Lake Morton

    Mute Swan Cygnets Returned to Lake Morton - September 2013

    Seven of our Mute Swan Cygnets returned to Lake Morton last week.  Regular readers of my blog may recall my springtime posts about the cute little cygnets, so adorable as they sat in their nests with Mom on the day that they hatched.   I finally got to see a cygnet ride on Mom's back this spring, and it was such fun to watch! Sadly, these creatures were snatched away from …Read More


    Black-Bellied Whistling-Ducklings at Viera Wetlands

    Black-Bellied Whistling-Ducklings at Viera Wetlands - September 2013

    Two weeks ago I went out in search of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducklings at Viera Wetlands.  Usually the wetlands are quiet during the summertime, and it's a great place to stay in your air-conditioned car while you wait for birding action.  But on this visit, I quickly found several families of the Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, and their cuteness made me very happy to sit out in the hot sun and photograph them! The …Read More


    The Chase

    The Chase - September 2013

    While at Fort De Soto over Labor Day weekend, I captured a fun sequence of images.  The Sandwich Terns were in a feeding frenzy over the ocean.  I tried to photograph them as they grabbed their fish from the ocean.   One grabbed a huge fish, dropped it in mid-air, then dove and caught it again.  It was a very exciting chase, and I was very happy when I checked …Read More


    Feeding Frenzy at Fort De Soto

    Feeding Frenzy at Fort De Soto - September 2013

    I had such a good time photographing the terns and gulls in their feeding frenzy at Fort De Soto over Labor Day weekend.  I got to North Beach just after sunrise.  The feeding frenzy from the night before continued as hundreds of birds dove into the waves and pulled out their breakfasts.  There were so many birds!!  It was hard to know what to shoot first.  There wasn't a lot …Read More


    Sunrise at Fort De Soto

    Sunrise at Fort De Soto - September 2013

    We stayed the night at the beach over Labor Day weekend, and I enjoyed the opportunity to shoot sunrise at Fort De Soto without having to drive for two hours! Except I was dismayed to arrive and find that the park is more strictly enforcing its hours. There was a "do not enter" sign that blocked the road until just before 7:00. That left me only about ten minutes before …Read More


    Shorebirds Returning to Florida’s Beaches

    Shorebirds Returning to Florida’s Beaches - September 2013

    Although it's still really hot outside, fall migration is underway, and the shorebirds are returning to Florida's beaches.  Most of our shorebirds fly to places like Alaska and northern Canada to breed.  They leave in May looking all spiffy in their breeding plumage, fly to their breeding grounds, raise their kids, and return to Florida in late August.  Hard to believe, huh? Rich and I spent some time at the …Read More


    Sunset at Fort De Soto’s North Beach

    Sunset at Fort De Soto’s North Beach - September 2013

    Rich and I did an overnight trip to Fort De Soto over Labor Day weekend.   I got to do one of my favorite things: photograph sunset at Fort De Soto's North Beach.  It's so beautiful there.  I love the white beach and the unspoiled coastline.  Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought it was great.  We came across this writing in the sand: We had our off-Friday before …Read More


    Hummingbirds at Butterfly World

    Hummingbirds at Butterfly World - August 2013

    I visited Butterfly World in late May when my hubby Rich and I visited South Florida for a few days to photograph the Burrowing Owls.  I'd been wanting to visit Butterfly World ever since seeing Jamie Felton's incredible image of a butterfly landing on a hummingbird's head.  The place certainly didn't disappoint.  There were hundreds of butterflies swirling all around us.  We got there on a Sunday morning just as …Read More


    Updates to my Bird Life List

    Updates to my Bird Life List - August 2013

    I recently dusted off my bird life list, organizing it by species and counting only American Birding Association countable species.  Like most birders, I enjoy keeping track of the birds I've seen, but as a bird photographer, I only count the birds that I've photographed.  The ABA has documented 976 species in North America.  About 300 of those can be found in my home state of Florida.  I've photographed 223 …Read More


    Teenage Skimmers Learning to Skim!

    Teenage Skimmers Learning to Skim! - August 2013

    This weekend I returned to the Black Skimmer colony at Indian Rocks Beach. It's been five weeks now since the babies hatched, and three weeks since I photographed them as adorable two-week-olds.  I figured they were flying and learning to skim by now, so I headed over in the morning when the sun best illuminates the waves and the ocean.  I was greeted by a colony of teenagers - almost …Read More


    Hot Summer Days at Orlando Wetlands Park

    Hot Summer Days at Orlando Wetlands Park - August 2013

    It's been quite a while since I last visited Orlando Wetlands Park, so when my friend Michael Libbe suggested that we go there for sunrise, I was excited to go back.  Summer days at Orlando Wetlands Park are very hot, but there was a nice breeze to keep us comfortable.  We arrived a good half hour before sunrise, and we found fog and clouds to obscure the horizon.  So we …Read More


    More From Indian Rocks Beach

    More From Indian Rocks Beach - August 2013

    I hope you're not tired of reading about the Black Skimmers yet, because today's post brings you more from Indian Rocks Beach! One of my goals for this summer was to capture the interaction between skimmers in mid-air during the nesting season.  I like to call these interactions "skimmer skirmishes," when two adults take to the skies to fly at each other to resolve what I'm guessing is a territorial …Read More


    Two-Week Old Black Skimmers

    Two-Week Old Black Skimmers - August 2013

    Several weeks ago, I returned to the Black Skimmer colony at Indian Rocks Beach to photograph the two-week old Black Skimmers. The little guys had grown up quite a bit since I photographed them as newborns.  Some would say that the two-week old Black Skimmers are less cute than when they were tiny babies, but I thought they had a lot of fun personality.  They no longer sit patiently under …Read More


    Learning to Fly

    Learning to Fly - August 2013

    I returned to the Black Skimmer colony two weeks ago to check on the babies.  It had been two weeks since I was there to photograph the day-old chicks, and I knew the babies had grown a lot.  I was hoping to catch them in that big-kid-but-not-yet-teenager stage, and I succeeded!  I'll have more pictures soon, but in the meantime, I thought it'd be fun to share a little sequence …Read More


    Sunset in Jupiter, Florida

    Sunset in Jupiter, Florida - August 2013

    It's been a crazy long week, so I'll pull out some images from our trip to the beach in May.  I sure wish I was there tonight! When Rich and I went to South Florida to visit the Burrowing Owls, we stopped at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center for Rich to get his turtle fix.  That evening, I wanted to walk on the beach and photograph the sunset.  The problem was, …Read More


    Black Skimmer Chick Fillets!

    Black Skimmer Chick Fillets! - August 2013

    The weekend after I returned from Maine, my dad and I drove to Indian Rocks Beach to check on the Black Skimmer colony.  We found that most of the eggs laid after Tropical Storm Andrea had hatched, and the colony was full of tiny newborn Black Skimmer chicks.  They are so cute!! My friend Debbie from south Florida drove up to see the skimmers, too, and we had a blast …Read More


    Skimming, Scratching, and Shadows at the Black Skimmer Colony

    Skimming, Scratching, and Shadows at the Black Skimmer Colony - July 2013

    Cuteness alert!  The Black Skimmer colony at Indian Rocks Beach was doing very well in the week before I left for Maine.  The birds were again on eggs after Tropical Storm Andrea wiped out most of their colony.  These birds are more stubborn than bad weather.  A few surviving chicks from the first batch stumbled around, learning to use their legs, while their younger cousins were being incubated just inches …Read More


    Sandy Point State Reservation, Massachusetts

    Sandy Point State Reservation, Massachusetts - July 2013

    On our way back from Maine, Rich and I stopped at Sandy Point State Park. It's on the southern end of an island about an hour north of Boston.  My objective was Piping Plovers, who nest in the area.  We have Piping Plovers in Florida during migration, but I haven't had such good luck finding them.  Well, I found them in Massachusetts!  There were half a dozen of them running …Read More


    Another Perspective on Maine: A Special Guest Blog Post by Rich

    Another Perspective on Maine: A Special Guest Blog Post by Rich - July 2013

    During our recent trip to Maine, Rich amused himself with his iPhone, taking pictures of me doing silly things with the camera.  I told him he needed to write a guest blog post after we got home!  At first he thought I was kidding, but then he started to like the idea.  He did tease me that it was an awful lot like writing an essay about his summer vacation! …Read More


    Whale-Watching in Maine

    Whale-Watching in Maine - July 2013

    Ever since my six-grade class did a study of marine biology with a video series called The Voyage of the Mimi, I've been interested in whales.  The Mimi focused specifically on humpback whales, some of the largest whales in the ocean.  So when Rich and I planned our vacation to Maine, I scheduled a whale-watching adventure.  It was through the Bar Harbor Whale Watch company.  A huge boat takes you …Read More


    Star Photography In Maine!

    Star Photography In Maine! - July 2013

    Rich and I are both interested in astronomy, so we were excited to go to Maine where there is so little light pollution.  Part of the reason we rented a cottage at Seaside Cottages was the easy access to a little strip of beach on the western side of Mount Desert Island.  We spent several evenings sitting on the rocky beach, watching the stars.  It was incredible just how many …Read More


    Acadia National Park

    Acadia National Park - July 2013

    I think I saw a few pigs fly by the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park as Rich and I stood watching the sunrise. Yes, you read that correctly. Rich joined me for sunrise during our recent trip to Maine! It was especially nice of him because sunrise that morning was at 4:55am. We got up at 3:30 to arrive at the summit with some time to spare. …Read More


    Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island

    Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island - July 2013

    During my recent trip to Maine I had the great privilege to visit a breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island. Puffins are pelagic birds, meaning that they live their lives out on the open ocean. They only come to land to breed and raise their young. Can you image living your entire life at sea? They swim and fly all day, catch fish to eat, and sleep …Read More


    We’re Ba-ack! from an AWESOME trip to Maine!

    We’re Ba-ack! from an AWESOME trip to Maine! - July 2013

    Rich and I just returned from an amazing week-and-a-half trip to Maine.  If you like rugged coastline, Atlantic Puffins, picturesque lighthouses and bridges, fog, sunrises, and stars, then stay tuned to my blog for the next few weeks.  I have plenty of adventures to share! :) First we visited Acadia National Park, located on Mount Desert Island. Acadia contains a beautiful stretch of the rugged Maine coastline, which was really …Read More


    Week Five: Burrowing Owls Fly Off!

    Week Five: Burrowing Owls Fly Off! - July 2013

    This is my last post on my Burrowing Owl nest-watching this spring.  I was so lucky to get to monitor the growth of a family of five (reduced to four) Burrowing Owls.  On my last visit, they waved goodbye and flew off… The oldest two babies were pretty proficient fliers. They flew off pretty early in the morning, and I think they were hunting for their own food. Mom and Dad …Read More


    Week Four: Burrowing Owls Stretching their Wings

    Week Four: Burrowing Owls Stretching their Wings - July 2013

    My Week Four visit to my Burrowing Owl nest was short and sweet. I got there around 8:30 in the morning, and the owls were sleepy and not very active. They were adorable as they posed at their burrow, but they didn't do much. Their actions made me suspect that they were already flight-worthy, though… Sadly I found that we were down to four owlets at the burrow.  There were …Read More


    Week Three: Silly Burrowing Owl Videos

    Week Three: Silly Burrowing Owl Videos - July 2013

    In my last post about the Burrowing Owls I wrote that my still shots do not best represent the antics of the owlets.  The stills capture expressions pretty well, but to really explain how it is that I can sit watching these birds for hours on end, I need video.  Luckily my DSLR has video, when I remember to use it! Now do you understand how I can nest-watch for …Read More


    Week Two: Breakfast Time for the Baby Burrowing Owls

    Week Two: Breakfast Time for the Baby Burrowing Owls - July 2013

    This post continues my story of the baby Burrowing Owls that I observed this spring.  I hope you're not getting tired of cute little owlets! On my previous visits to the burrow, I was a little surprised not to see food being brought in for the owlets.  Surely they were not feeding themselves yet, as they never left the vicinity of the burrow.  Mom and Dad must have fed them …Read More


    Week Two: Burrowing Owlets Are Six Days Older

    Week Two: Burrowing Owlets Are Six Days Older - July 2013

    I returned to my Burrowing Owl nest six days after first seeing Burrowing Owlets.  It's amazing how fast they grow! On my first visit, I thought I saw five babies.  But they didn't stay above ground for very long, so I only photographed three.  On this second visit, I was able to confirm that there were five owlets.  They were so cute as they peeked out of burrow through the …Read More


    Week One: First Glimpses of the Burrowing Owl Family

    Week One: First Glimpses of the Burrowing Owl Family - June 2013

    This spring I had the awesome opportunity to regularly observe a Burrowing Owl family.  For the next few blog posts, I'll share images of the babies as they ventured out of the burrow and learned how to fly! For weeks I went by to check on the birds, finding nothing but Mom or Dad sitting on a fencepost.  Burrowing Owls can be so expressive, but I must admit that they …Read More


    Fort De Soto with My Dad

    Fort De Soto with My Dad - June 2013

    After visiting the Black Skimmer colony with my dad on Father's Day, we decided to head to Fort De Soto to explore.  It was mid-day, and we knew we'd see more people than birds.  Still, it's hard to be half an hour away from Bird Photography Paradise and not at least stop by!  I'm glad we did, because we had a great time.  I think I got some decent pictures, …Read More


    Victorious Babies at the Black Skimmer Colony

    Victorious Babies at the Black Skimmer Colony - June 2013

    One of my favorite summertime photo opportunities is at a Black Skimmer colony in Indian Rocks Beach.  The skimmers come to nest on the beach in front of some condos, and it's very easy to photograph them with their babies. This year I went over to the colony with my dad for Father's Day.  He loved it! Unfortunately, Mother Nature sometimes challenges the birds with tropical storms and hurricanes that …Read More


    More Burrowing Owls from Brian Piccolo Park

    More Burrowing Owls from Brian Piccolo Park - June 2013

    It's time for round two on Burrowing Owls from Brian Piccolo Park! My last adventure was an evening shoot at a great nest with six babies.  I went back to the same burrow the next morning.  The owlets were nowhere near as active.  I set up my Beast on my tripod and lowered it as much as possible to get some portraits.  Getting low threw the entire area of grass …Read More


    A Visit to the Swallow-Tailed Kites on Powerline Road

    A Visit to the Swallow-Tailed Kites on Powerline Road - June 2013

    Every year in the summertime, the people on Birdbrains start talking about the kettles of Swallow-Tailed Kites on Powerline Road in Hernando County.   Last year I really wanted to go and see them, but I didn't.  This year Dyeyo and I decided to drive out there to see what there was to see. We found kites!  Not in the 75+ numbers as described on Birdbrains, but we easily saw …Read More


    Flight Lessons for the Burrowing Owls at Brian Piccolo Park

    Flight Lessons for the Burrowing Owls at Brian Piccolo Park - June 2013

    I had two photo ops with the Burrowing Owls at Brian Piccolo Park on my recent trip to South Florida. One was an afternoon shoot, and the other was the next morning. You might ask why I drive over four hours to see a couple of owls. Well, maybe this will answer the question… There are some really photographable nests at Brian Piccolo Park! The park ropes off the nests …Read More


    Sea Turtles!

    Sea Turtles! - June 2013

    Rich and I visited the Juno Beach Loggerhead Marinelife Center  while we were in South Florida over Memorial Day weekend.  My grandparents used to live right down the street from the "turtle museum," as we called it, and my cousins and I enjoyed seeing the turtles and watching the little babies run down to the ocean. Now that I'm married to a turtle lover, it's fun to share this place …Read More


    Wilson’s Plover Nest

    Wilson’s Plover Nest - June 2013

    On the morning that I photographed sunrise at Washington Oaks, I also made a stop at the Matanzas Tern Colony. In previous years, I've spent some very special mornings lying on the sand, watching the Least Terns and their tiny chicks. I was a little worried that the birds would find a new nesting site after their colony was devastated by Tropical Storm Beryl last year. But they came back! …Read More


    Summer Sunrise at Washington Oaks

    Summer Sunrise at Washington Oaks - June 2013

    As the birding nesting season starts to wind down, I've been enjoying playing with my wide-angle lens for landscape shots.  My friends often visit the beaches at Washington Oaks State Park on the way to the Least Tern colony, and I decided to stop there on my last off-Friday.  It's painful getting out of bed early enough to be in St. Augustine 30 minutes before sunrise!  Although as soon as …Read More


    Mute Swan Cygnets – Just Another Ordinary Miracle!

    Mute Swan Cygnets – Just Another Ordinary Miracle! - June 2013

    On Sunday I visited Lake Morton to photograph what is probably the last Mute Swan cygnet of the season. We've had a great spring this year, with lots of great nests and adorable cygnets. Unfortunately the babies are taken away by the City of Lakeland almost as soon as they hatch. So we haven't had many opportunities to see the babies bonding with Mom and Dad out on the lake.  One thing I …Read More


    Sunrise and a Breeze

    Sunrise and a Breeze - June 2013

    A few weeks ago, I was driving to a morning photography adventure and I happened to notice a great sunrise in my side mirror.  I wasn't in a hurry, so I pulled over and got the shot.  It was a foggy morning, and I hadn't expected the sunrise to be at all interesting.  But the bright orange orb was shining through the fog and I had two great trees in …Read More


    Another Tale of Father Goose

    Another Tale of Father Goose - May 2013

    Regular readers of my blog may remember Father Goose.  He (she?) is a goose at Lake Morton who befriends the Muscovy Ducks each spring when their babies hatch.  I'm not sure where the Muscovy dads are, but they don't seem to be much involved in raising the brood of youngsters.  Enter "Father" Goose, the lonely goose who arrived at Lake Morton several years ago and never quite fit in with the …Read More


    My First Time Lapse

    My First Time Lapse - May 2013

    Rich and I just got back from a much-needed get-away over Memorial Day weekend.  The change of pace was great!  I estimate that I'm about 15 posts behind in my blog, so you won't see details of our trip for a week or two.  But here's a teaser… One of the places we visited was a beach where I used to go often as a child.  My grandparents lived nearby …Read More


    Nighthawks and a Gorgeous Sunset

    Nighthawks and a Gorgeous Sunset - May 2013

    With our Florida rainy season in full swing, the clouds of our afternoon thunderstorms provide great opportunities for sunset pictures.  One afternoon recently I came home, saw the clouds on the horizon, grabbed the camera, and drove out to some grassy fields where I knew I'd have a clear view of the horizon for sunset. When I saw the sunlight illuminating the grasses and making their flowery tops shimmer, I …Read More


    Sunset with my Swans

    Sunset with my Swans - May 2013

    After our less-than-spectacular sunrise at Blue Cypress Lake a few weeks ago, I headed to Lakeland to see my swans.  You see, the City of Lakeland takes the cygnets away from their nests almost immediately — sometimes on the same day that they hatch.  The City believes that it's better to raise the babies in a private facility, away from the hustle and bustle of the lake.  I find it …Read More


    Beast Meets Bobolink

    Beast Meets Bobolink - May 2013

    I'm so behind on my blog. It's that time of year when I'd rather be out with my camera than sitting behind a computer! Recently I wrote about my quest to see Bobolinks at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Bobolinks are migratory birds that make a stop-over at Circle B every May during their migration north. My dad has gotten incredible shots of the Bobolinks, but I hadn't seen them …Read More


    Cygnets for Mother’s Day

    Cygnets for Mother’s Day - May 2013

    Dedicated to my mom, who is my best friend and confidante.  Happy Mother's Day!! As regular readers of my blog know, I've been stopping by Lake Morton periodically to monitor the nesting of the resident Mute Swans.  My friend Kim at the lake knows how much I love to photograph the cygnets (baby swans), so she promised to let me know when they started to hatch.  One morning I decided …Read More


    Clouds at Blue Cypress Lake

    Clouds at Blue Cypress Lake - May 2013

    Last Sunday I met friends Debbie, Tom, and Michael at Blue Cypress Lake for a fun-filled boat ride of dramatic sunrises and flying Ospreys.  Well, that's what it was supposed to be, and what it  was in March 2012, May 2012, and March 2013.  So I happily jumped out of bed at 4am and drove for an hour and a half to the middle of nowhere in the pitch black …Read More


    Two Lifers on a Drizzly Circle B Bar Reserve Morning

    Two Lifers on a Drizzly Circle B Bar Reserve Morning - May 2013

    Last Saturday morning I visited the Circle B Bar Reserve with the hope of seeing my first Bobolink.  Bobolinks are migratory birds that pass through Circle B during early May.  My dad has seen them several times, but I never have - I've missed them every year!  I knew Saturday morning would be cloudy, but when I arrived out on the Wading Bird Trail, "cloudy" was an understatement.  The air …Read More


    Sunshine After Rain

    Sunshine After Rain - May 2013

    It rained all week last week.  We need the rain, but we need it a little bit at a time.  Not three inches a day for five days in a row!  On Friday afternoon, I was so sick of staying inside.  We had a break in the showers, so I headed out to see if I could find a nice sunset vista.  When I left the house, I saw a …Read More


    Cygnet Watch at Lake Morton

    Cygnet Watch at Lake Morton - May 2013

    On my way back from Fort De Soto last Saturday, I stopped at Lake Morton to see if there were any cygnets (baby swans).  I've been keeping an eye on the nests there for the past few weeks, as it is getting to be that time of year when tiny gray fuzzballs appear under the mother swans.  It was mid-day when I got there, and the light was really harsh, …Read More


    Pleasant Morning at Fort De Soto

    Pleasant Morning at Fort De Soto - May 2013

    For the past three weekends in a row, I've planned a visit to Fort De Soto.  I even planned to go and stay overnight so that I'd have more time with golden light.  Then there were thunderstorms.  And rain.  And clouds.  Two weekends in a row!  So this past weekend I finally made it there. When you drive into Fort De Soto and come to the flagpole, you have to …Read More


    More Common Nighthawks

    More Common Nighthawks - April 2013

    A few weeks ago I was excited to find my first Common Nighthawk after work one night.  I went back to look for more, and I found them!  Common Nighthawks are sometimes hard to find. They are most active at night, so during the day when I'd normally see them, they are usually asleep in a tree.  Their colors make them blend right into those trees!  I read on the …Read More


    Seven Baby Limpkins at Lake Morton!

    Seven Baby Limpkins at Lake Morton! - April 2013

    I had read about baby Limpkins at Lake Morton, and when I was walking around the lake on Saturday morning, I kept my eyes and ears open.  Often I hear babies before I see them.  Then I ran into my friend Jane, and she told me exactly where to find them.  Woo hoo!  They were clustered in a clump of bushes, taking refuge from the chaos of a bread-fest that …Read More


    Cute Babies at Lake Morton

    Cute Babies at Lake Morton - April 2013

    The weather was cloudy and rainy on Saturday morning, so I didn't want to venture miles from my car with heavy camera equipment.  I opted for a trip to Lake Morton, where I knew I could find cute babies.  I knew I'd be too early for swan cygnets, which probably won't hatch till late April or early May.  But with all the ducks at the Lake Morton menagerie, there were …Read More


    Glimpses of a Disappearing Florida

    Glimpses of a Disappearing Florida - April 2013

    I'm dismayed by the recent development in our area. Where pine trees once covered the land, yet another development is going in. Where Sandhill Cranes once flew over John's Lake, signs now stand advertising multi-million dollar lakefront homes. Scenic drives are cluttered by cookie-cutter stucco houses. The Orlando area is expanding, and as it expands it is eating native Florida. As the habitat disappears, so do our birds. I've been …Read More


    Gorgeous Birds at Gatorland

    Gorgeous Birds at Gatorland - April 2013

    My last Gatorland post focused on the Snowy Egret that I saw hatch, but I saw lots of other birds last Saturday morning also.  It was a cloudy morning, with a good chance of rain, so I didn't want to drive for hours and then take a long walk with my Beast.  So I opted for Gatorland, which is closer to home and has rain shelter if required.  I was …Read More


    Tiny Miracles at the Gatorland Rookery

    Tiny Miracles at the Gatorland Rookery - April 2013

    This morning I had the privilege of watching a baby bird hatch at the Gatorland Rookery.  It was incredible.  Watching the little bird break out of the egg and enter the world was an amazing experience.  And a long one!  The last time I watched an egg hatch, it was a Double-Crested Cormorant, and it happened really fast.  First I was looking at an egg, then the mother was poking …Read More


    Swans Nesting at Lake Morton

    Swans Nesting at Lake Morton - April 2013

    As I wrote yesterday, my friend Carla came with me on a photography expedition last weekend.  We first visited the Circle B Bar Reserve, and then we headed to Lake Morton.  Carla saw her first swan's nest! The beautiful Mute Swans are nesting all around the lake right now.  We counted at least eight nests.  The City of Lakeland has roped them off this year and posted a sign by …Read More


    Sharing the Sunrise at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sharing the Sunrise at Circle B Bar Reserve - April 2013

    Last Sunday my neighbor and good friend Carla joined me for a walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  Carla and I enjoy our backyard birds together, and she decided that she wanted to come see some of the places I photograph on weekends.  Brave lady - she was even willing to be up for sunrise!  We had a great morning together.  :) We were out on the Wading Bird …Read More


    Slow Season this Year at the Gatorland Rookery

    Slow Season this Year at the Gatorland Rookery - April 2013

    I spent a morning at the Gatorland rookery the weekend before last.  My friend Debbie Tubridy was in town, and we decided to check out the rookery, expecting it to be teeming with birds.  But it wasn't!  The morning-light side of the rookery didn't have nearly as much activity as in previous years.  I was very surprised as I walked out onto the boardwalk and saw open expanses of Brazilian …Read More


    Sunset at the Polk Rookery

    Sunset at the Polk Rookery - April 2013

    Herman took my dad and me on a boat trip to the Polk Rookery this past weekend.  It was my first time being there in the afternoon, so it was fun to see the nests that are not well illuminated in my normal morning light.  There don't seem to be as many nests this year as in past years.  There are decent number of Wood Storks, and lots of White …Read More


    Windy and Cold at Fort De Soto

    Windy and Cold at Fort De Soto - April 2013

    Somebody needs to tell the groundhog that he really mis-predicted the weather this year.  Instead of his projected early spring, we got freezing cold temperatures well into April!  Still, Fort De Soto is an awesome place for springtime bird photography, even if there's wind and cold.  I spent a very pleasant evening and morning at the North Beach lagoon and saw all sorts of birds in their gorgeous breeding colors. …Read More


    Easter Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Easter Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve - April 2013

    Easter sunrise, a lifer, and a bobcat…it was a very good morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve!! On Easter Sunday I was out on the Wading Bird Way trail approximately 45 minutes before sunrise.  I watched the pale glow of the sun as it appeared over the horizon, and finally burst up over the clouds.  I enjoyed playing with my new off-camera flash cord, which I used to illuminate …Read More


    More Orange Fuzzballs at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    More Orange Fuzzballs at the Circle B Bar Reserve - April 2013

    Two weekends ago, my friend Michael Libbe asked if I wanted to shoot together at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Little did I realize that I'd later be accused of dragging him on a long hike carrying his heavy equipment!  :-p  I perhaps should have warned him that I'm on a Sandhill Crane colt craze this year.  The little orange fuzzballs are totally worth a hike!  We found both families …Read More


    Great Horned Owls are Fledging

    Great Horned Owls are Fledging - April 2013

    I've had the privilege of watching several owl nests in the past few weeks, as I first indicating in my recent post about My First Trip to the Oakland Great Horned Owl Nest.  I missed the really cute stage when the birds were tiny babies, and Mom tucked them under her tummy as she sat on their nest.  Now the owlets are starting to fledge.  My dad came with me …Read More


    Newborn Sandhill Crane Baby at Nest

    Newborn Sandhill Crane Baby at Nest - March 2013

    I've been very fortunate over the past week as I had the opportunity to observe a newborn Sandhill Crane baby at his nest.  This nest is in Melbourne, about an hour and a half drive for me.  My friends who live there notified me when the baby was born (thanks Bill and Mike!).  Only a corrupted Compact Flash card and bad weather kept me from running over to Melbourne that …Read More


    Spring 2013 at Blue Cypress Lake

    Spring 2013 at Blue Cypress Lake - March 2013

    I was so excited when my friend Michael Libbe organized a boat ride on Blue Cypress Lake last weekend. Blue Cypress Lake is a huge lake near Yeehaw Junction in Central Florida. If you know Yeehaw Junction at all, you know that the location is "out in the middle of nowhere!" The only human structure on Blue Cypress Lake is Middleton's Fish Camp, where we rented our pontoon boat. Thanks …Read More


    Foggy Mornings at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Foggy Mornings at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2013

    On Saturday morning, the sunrise found me out on the Wading Bird Way trail at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I was flabbergasted when my dad also arrived for the sunrise. He's not a sunrise photographer! As the sun peeked out over the horizon, fog was settling in over the marsh. It was really thick and very pretty. My dad commented that as he approached me on the trail, all …Read More


    Five Days Cuter at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Five Days Cuter at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2013

    I spent my off-Friday morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve with the Sandhill Crane family. The babies are so much bigger, and so much cuter, than they were on Sunday. The weekend crowds weren't there on Friday, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with these wonderful birds! As the Sandhill Crane babies grow bigger, the adults take them for longer walks around the marsh.  I caught up with them …Read More


    Week-Old Sandhill Crane Colts

    Week-Old Sandhill Crane Colts - March 2013

    Last year my friends found a Sandhill Crane family in Casselberry. When I visited, the colts were several weeks old, already getting to their leggy stage. They entertained me with their spider wars. This year I made a trip over there while the babies are still small. They hatched on Sunday, and I went six days later. Compared to the Sandhill Crane colts at the Circle B Bar Reserve, these …Read More


    My First Trip to the Oakland Great Horned Owl Nest

    My First Trip to the Oakland Great Horned Owl Nest - March 2013

    I was so excited when a friend shared the location of a Great Horned Owl nest - it's practically in my backyard!  I love to watch nests and see babies grow up, but most nests are far away.  This one is close enough that I can check on it after work.  (I've been asked not to disclose the exact location to protect these little cuties.) The owlets are already pretty …Read More


    Sandhill Crane Colts Crawl into my Lap at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sandhill Crane Colts Crawl into my Lap at Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2013

    I had an absolutely incredible morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Sunday. The Sandhill Crane colts have hatched! This is a very predictable family of Sandhill Cranes that has been bringing the tiny babies up on the trail for the past four or five years. They make wonderful photo opportunities! The nest this year is way out in the marsh. I finally found it after I heard the …Read More


    Gatorland Rookery Great Egrets Put on a Show

    Gatorland Rookery Great Egrets Put on a Show - March 2013

    I got out with my camera this morning for the first time since early December! It felt so good. I headed to the Gatorland Rookery in hopes of capturing some Great Egret nesting activity. The birds didn't disappoint! This morning was my first time taking the Beast to the Gatorland Rookery, and wow! It's a whole new experience with a 500mm lens. With my 400mm lens I was pretty much …Read More


    Incoming!

    Incoming! - December 2012

    This is one of my favorite Great Blue Heron nesting shots from last year. I had fun on the computer with it today, applying Fractalius and some texture to the image. I'm looking forward to getting out to the Viera Wetlands to enjoy this year's nesting birds.


    Watchin’ the Wheel Go Round

    Watchin’ the Wheel Go Round - December 2012

    I made this image of the windmill at the Circle B Bar Reserve back in October. I had gone to look for the Snail Kite, and after the sun set, the light levels dropped quickly. As I walked back to my car I looked back and saw the windmill starting to whirl in the breeze. I made a few images using slow shutter speeds, and this one came out just …Read More


    Dreaming of a Swampy Christmas!

    Dreaming of a Swampy Christmas! - December 2012

    I've had a nasty flu bug for a little over a week now. It's getting old! The weather is great (cold, but clear) and the birds are here and I'm sitting at the computer looking at pictures I took last year. It's time to get better. So this is where I'd like to be tomorrow morning - a nice pelican sunrise at Circle B!


    Did I Finally Make a Pleasing Blur?

    Did I Finally Make a Pleasing Blur? - December 2012

    Some really good photographers obsess over making "pleasing blurs," and I must admit, when I look at their images, I see glimpses of my own bad shots that I deleted because the bird wouldn't sit still! But sometimes when I'm out shooting and the action isn't all that exciting, I'll take my second body and experiment. Usually I delete the results. But with this one I think I might be …Read More


    Watching and Waiting

    Watching and Waiting - December 2012

    This Black-Crowned Night Heron was just sitting in a treetop of Orlando Wetlands. He was watching and waiting, probably planning out his next meal. I like how his bright red eye stands out against the clear blue sky.


    Bright and Yellow

    Bright and Yellow - December 2012

    My favorite wintertime bird is the goldfinch. They spend lots of time at our backyard feeder, and our cats spend a lot of time watching them! When I go outside to refill the feeder, I think they have a watchbird monitoring my activity. As soon as I step away, I hear a chorus of sweet "potato chip!" calls as the watchbird calls in the rest of the flock. I photographed …Read More


    Blue Skies Ahead!

    Blue Skies Ahead! - December 2012

    I'm tired of all this cloudy, foggy weather we've been having lately! I hope the skies clear up for my upcoming time off from work. This was taken back in November at the Orlando Wetlands Park. I liked the cloud formations of the original image, and then I really liked the effect of the golden colors framing the clouds in the polar coordinates version.


    Fall Leaves

    Fall Leaves - December 2012

    I thought it would be easy to photograph fall leaves. After all, there are tons of them lying around, right? Turns out they are not as photogenic as you might think. And a lot of them were already brown, which really distracted from the leaves that were brightly colored. So I took lots of attempts, but few turned out to be anything like what I wanted. This one was my …Read More


    Enjoying the Sunshine

    Enjoying the Sunshine - December 2012

    On the day that Michael and I hiked out Shiloh Marsh Road to photograph the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, we came across this Turkey Vulture sunning himself. He seemed to be enjoying the sun very much. He didn't want to move! We had to pass him on the trail, and he would watch us dubiously, then move just a little way up the trail. Silly bird. Why are the pretty birds so …Read More


    A Different Kind of Garden

    A Different Kind of Garden - December 2012

    My in-laws are visiting this weekend, so Hubby and I took them to Kennedy Space Center yesterday. I got to photograph a different kind of garden - a rocket garden! The space center is now doing special tours of the launchpad and the Vehicle Assembly building (I guess because they are no longer in use for the space shuttle program). We did the launchpad tour, which allowed us to go …Read More


    Christmas Spirit

    Christmas Spirit - December 2012

    This planting of poinsettias is so cheerful, and it really put me in the mood for Christmas.  Rich has been reciting a Christmas countdown to me every day since before Thanksgiving.  We have several countdowns: one for the number of working days left (9!), one for the days till Christmas (18!), and one for the days left till The Hobbit movie is released (8!)   I can't wait for a …Read More


    Soft Colors

    Soft Colors - December 2012

    I'm always surprised at camellia blooms because they remind me so much of my roses.  The colors of this one are very delicate and pretty.  Pale whites and pinks make me think of spring - but it's December!  I need to go find some poinsettias to play with. :)


    Tall Trees Make Me Feel Short

    Tall Trees Make Me Feel Short - December 2012

    I saw these tall trees still with some fall color and thought it would be fun to photograph them from an ant's perspective.  So I threw myself on the ground (much to Rich's surprise) and starting photographing up into the sky.  The result has an interesting perspective.  Tall trees make me feel really short!


    Fun with Filters

    Fun with Filters - December 2012

    I recently photographed some tiny flowers.  I don't know what kind they were.  Rich stood patiently as I crawled on the ground to get really close.  I liked the images, but they seemed a little boring.  So I played a little bit with the Color Efex Pro and Fractalius filters…


    Mum’s the Word

    Mum’s the Word - December 2012

    I didn't have a chance to get out and do photography this weekend, so I don't have new Florida pictures to share.  So I'll keep sharing shots from my recent vacation to Callaway Gardens.  Mum's the word!


    Fall Sunshine

    Fall Sunshine - December 2012

    In a few months, this Overlook Garden at Callaway Gardens will be a beautiful mass of azalea color.  I hope to get back up there to photograph it.  But now it is a wood with a little bit of fall color remaining, and the sun shone through the trees on me…I never noticed the change of seasons much until I started gardening and photography! :)


    Camellia Blooms

    Camellia Blooms - November 2012

    I was surprised to find the camellias blooming already in Georgia.  The fresh delicate blooms contrasted so much with the fall colors and dead leaves that surround the bushes.  Two bees were pollinating this bloom that I spotted high over my head.  In the background are the bright yellow and orange leaves of a tree still in full color.


    Back to the Waterfall

    Back to the Waterfall - November 2012

    On our last trip to Callaway, I found a waterfall near the chapel that I really enjoyed photographing.  It was my first real opportunity to experiment with slow shutter speeds to blur the water.  I got some nice compliments on the pictures, and total strangers e-mailed me to ask me where in the world this waterfall is!  So on our recent trip of course I had to go back.  This …Read More


    Fantasy in Lights

    Fantasy in Lights - November 2012

    A few days before Thanksgiving, Rich and I went up to Callaway Gardens.  Callaway Gardens is about an hour south of Atlanta, which is a seven hour drive from Orlando.  Each year they decorate the gardens with wonderful Christmas lights and music, called their "Fantasy in Lights" celebration.  It's so much fun!  This was our second year to visit the lights.  We went before Thanksgiving to enjoy fewer crowds, and …Read More


    Cosmos Burst

    Cosmos Burst - November 2012

    The light levels were low at the Vegetable Garden most evenings when we were at Callaway Gardens.  Plus it was wintertime, and there weren't many birds around.  I photographed a few Yellow-Rumped Warblers and a Junco, which is really common but not in Florida, and then my attention turned to other photogenic subjects.  This clump of cosmos was about the only colorful thing in the garden.  I decided to take …Read More


    The MINWR Snow Bunting

    The MINWR Snow Bunting - November 2012

    On Black Friday I had the opportunity to photograph two rare birds in Florida: the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and the Snow Bunting.  The Snow Bunting lives in the Arctic, breeding in the northernmost parts of Canada.  In the wintertime its range extends down to northern Pennsylvania or Maryland.  But not normally to Florida!  So when this little beauty showed up at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, it attracted lots of photographers. …Read More


    A Scissor-Tailed Misadventure

    A Scissor-Tailed Misadventure - November 2012

    On Black Friday morning I was up early like the rest of the world.  Except most people were waiting in long lines in crowded stores.  I was out in the middle of the swamp with a camera in my hand, photographing the sunrise!  I had a great morning at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge with friends Michael Libbe, Donna Faylo, and Mike Fitzgerald. We started the morning on Shiloh Road …Read More


    Dew and Mums

    Dew and Mums - November 2012

    I photographed these chrysanthemums covered in dew early one morning on our recent vacation.  Aren't they pretty?  I love the deep red tones and the little water droplets.


    Going in Circles

    Going in Circles - November 2012

    Sometimes it's fun to mix up your photography using filters and effects.  I took a nice picture of a lake scene with fall colors earlier this week at Callaway Gardens.  But it was a little boring…straight lines, nicely executed, but nothing special.  I noticed the layers in the trees and the waves of the lake and decided to play with Photoshop's Polar Coordinates filter.  It wrapped the waves of the …Read More


    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving! - November 2012

    Rich and I just returned from a weekend trip to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.  We're very thankful that we had an opportunity for a few much-needed days away.  And for our nice neighbors who took care of our cats while we were gone!  We went to Callaway for their Fantasy in Lights display of Christmas lights and music.  I'll blog more about that after Thanksgiving.  For today, here's …Read More


    Half an Hour

    Half an Hour - November 2012

    When you want to photograph sunrise, it always pays to be in position at least half an hour before sunrise.  That sounds like a long time, especially if you have to get up early and drive to your location.  But look at the difference it makes.  This image was taken at 6:37, about 10 minutes before sunrise: This one was taken at 7:11, about twenty minutes after sunrise. What a …Read More


    Head Shot

    Head Shot - November 2012

    I photographed this Sandhill Crane at Orlando Wetlands last weekend.  He just wouldn't get off the trail, which made it really easy to photograph him.  The grasses behind him were nicely out-of-focus (well, mostly), and they contrasted beautifully with his bright red head.  I like how the grasses give the background a feeling of motion, reminding me of the nice breezes that day.  I'll have to check backnext spring to …Read More


    Flight School

    Flight School - November 2012

    The Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks are pretty active these days at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  When I visited there last weekend, there were so many ducks circling overhead making their happy calls.  I noticed a bunch of juveniles, and I think they were having a little bit of a Flight School as they circled around and around.  These silly ducks are some of my favorite birds.  I love how the …Read More


    Circle B Fall Sunrise

    Circle B Fall Sunrise - November 2012

    I seem to be on a bit of a landscape image kick lately.  This is a sunrise image from the Circle B Bar Reserve about a week ago.  As the sun peeked up from behind my shoulder, it bathed the marsh in gorgeous golden light.  Now all we need are some yellow flowers and a blanket of winter birds!


    Self Portrait

    Self Portrait - November 2012

    Before I got serious about photography, I never really noticed the varying positions of the sun throughout the year.  Seasons to me were just "shorts or jacket weather?"  Now I pay a lot more attention to light.  A few weeks ago at the Circle B Bar Reserve, I was photographing birds off the Heron Hideout trail.  I looked down and noticed my long shadow on the ground in the early …Read More


    Waiting

    Waiting - November 2012

    I was leaving the Circle B Bar Reserve on Saturday morning when I noticed this Belted Kingfisher perched on a branch near the Heron Hideout trail.  I was surprised that he was perched so close - usually they stay farther away.  He let me position myself at a good sun angle, then gave me a great head position before flying off to continue his morning fishing routine.  Isn't it great …Read More


    Similar but Different

    Similar but Different - November 2012

    Yesterday I posted a picture of sunrise at Orlando Wetlands.  The sun was peeking through the clouds thick on the horizon, and several minutes after sunrise, the light peeked through the clouds and created "God rays" of light.  The primary tones were oranges, which contrasted with the blacks of the trees in silhouette.  Today's image is also from Orlando Wetlands, not too far from where I took yesterday's image.  The …Read More


    Sunrise from Orlando Wetlands

    Sunrise from Orlando Wetlands - November 2012

    This sunrise image was taken on Saturday at Robert's photography workshop.  He had us photographing the front-lit cabbage palms at first, probably because there were clouds on the horizon and the backlit sunrise against the trees wouldn't be so impressive.  Then we noticed the sun peeking through the clouds, creating beautiful rays of light.  I learned something useful from Robert and this image: do not use auto white balance at …Read More


    December 2013 Will Be a Good Month!

    December 2013 Will Be a Good Month! - November 2012

    I recently received my copy of the Charlotte Harbor Estuary Program calendar, which features one of my images for December 2013.  It was so cool to see my own picture in their calendar!  The Circle B Bar Reserve is part of the Charlotte Harbor Estuary area, even though CBBR is so far inland that most people don't associate it with Charlotte Harbor.  So we tried to submit lots of good …Read More


    Exploring Orlando Wetlands Park

    Exploring Orlando Wetlands Park - November 2012

    Yesterday I went to a photography workshop led by Robert Amoruso at Orlando Wetlands Park.  It was only my second time to visit the park, and I figured the Audubon fundraiser would be a fun opportunity to meet a good photographer and learn some of the good spots in the park.  Robert was awesome.  He did a great job of balancing the various skill levels of the workshop participants.  He …Read More


    It’s About Time!

    It’s About Time! - November 2012

    I've been trying to make good images of Limpkins in flight over at least the last year.  There are certainly enough Limpkins at the Circle B Bar Reserve that you would think this would be easy.  Except the silly Limpkins are very fond of giving me butt shots.  As soon as I get ready for flight shots, they start flying — away from me!  So I was very excited to …Read More


    Comings and Goings

    Comings and Goings - November 2012

    This morning I took advantage of my off-Friday to visit the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I hadn't been there in a while, and this is the time of year when it starts to get really good.  There were no yellow flowers yet, but I did have an American White Pelican fly-over!  A group of about 30 of them flew over the Marsh Rabbit Run trail and circled around the waters …Read More


    Too Close for Comfort

    Too Close for Comfort - November 2012

    I photographed this Great Blue Heron in awesome morning light at the Circle B Bar Reserve back in May.  He wasn't too sure about his neighbor.  Alligators and birds don't mix well! I seriously need to get out this weekend and take some new pictures! :)


    Peaceful Blue…

    Peaceful Blue… - November 2012

    After 13 hours of work today, I needed a reminder of one of my favorite places to relax: Fort De Soto in Tierra Verde, FL.  I photographed this juvenile almost-turned-adult plumage Little Blue Heron at Fort D back in early September.  I've been itching to go back ever since.  Look at that blue water…isn't it relaxing?


    Foggy Morning

    Foggy Morning - November 2012

    My alarm clock played tricks on me this morning.  Not only did it put the clock back an hour for Standard Time, but it also put my wake-up time back an additional hour…so I woke up really early.  Not nice.  Then I saw that the weather forecast was for mostly cloudy and  100% humidity at Circle B till around 9 or 10, which translates to very dense fog.  Never mind…sleep …Read More


    Tiny Dancer

    Tiny Dancer - November 2012

    A few weeks ago I had fun visiting the Orlando Wetlands Park for the first time with friends.  We were searching for the Vermillion Flycatcher.  But when we came across this stretch of water with lots of fishing Snowy Egrets, it was impossible to pass them by.  They'd fly in front of us and dive for fish.  It made me realize I'm a little out of practice for flight shot …Read More


    Posing Pretty

    Posing Pretty - October 2012

    On my last sunrise visit to Circle B, I turned around and found this grackle sitting on a post behind me.  She looked so pretty with her feathers glistening in the sun.  She just begged me to take her picture…and even if she's "just a grackle," I was happy to do so!


    More on the Snail Kite

    More on the Snail Kite - October 2012

    I received information today about the banded Snail Kite that is hanging out at the Circle B Bar Reserve lately.  According to FWC, After getting in touch with the University of Florida researchers who banded the bird, I found it was born in June of 2011 on East Lake Toho in St Cloud. We’re glad to see she (?) is doing well, the notes said she was the smaller of …Read More


    Black and White Warbler

    Black and White Warbler - October 2012

    While I waited patiently (or impatiently!) for the Vermillion Flycatcher to come closer at Orlando Wetlands, one bird decided to cooperate with me.  This Black-and-White Warbler hopped into a pine tree right in front of me.  She perched for just a second and then flew away.  These little guys are very good at helping me practice quick focus!


    My First (Blurry) Vermilion Flycatcher

    My First (Blurry) Vermilion Flycatcher - October 2012

    Yesterday I posted a picture of a clump of Cypress trees with two birds.  If you missed the red dot, don't feel badly…that's how I felt when I got my first glimpse of a Vermilion Flycatcher at Orlando Wetlands this weekend.  The other bird in the shot was a Belted Kingfisher.  There are lots of those at the wetlands right now, and it's really hard to miss them.  I met …Read More


    Head Shot

    Head Shot - October 2012

    I had a great morning with friends at Orlando Wetlands today. But I haven't had a chance to go through my pictures yet, so here's one from Circle B last weekend. This Great Blue Heron's colors stood out nicely against the brown vegetation surrounding him. I was surprised to see so much brown in the landscape already. It's definitely getting to be fall…and today's weather was great! Soon it will …Read More


    The Snail Kite at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    The Snail Kite at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2012

    The Circle B Snail Kite is banded, and I was pleased to get a decent shot of the band numbers on Saturday. It's not often that I use both teleconverters on the Beast! The left band reads "2510" and the right bands read "7Z". I tried to report this to the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, but I haven't had any response. Maybe I don't have enough digits off the …Read More


    Snowy Shadows

    Snowy Shadows - October 2012

    This Snowy Egret was fishing in the warm afternoon light on Saturday evening at Circle B. I liked how his white feathers contrasted with the shadows behind him.


    Everything But the Bird!

    Everything But the Bird! - October 2012

    Dyeyo and I thought we were being so smart on Saturday afternoon when we returned to Circle B. We'd seen the Snail Kite in the same place two mornings in a row. It's getting a reputation among birders for being predictable. But the light is all wrong in the morning. This stubborn bird sits right in between your lens and the sun. So we decided to make a return visit …Read More


    The Calm Before the Coots

    The Calm Before the Coots - October 2012

    Each fall I look forward to the arrival of the American Coots at the Circle B Bar Reserve as a sign that our winter visitors are beginning to arrive. It's just about time for the first groups of coots to show up at CBBR. Soon these waters will be covered in little black ducks… On Saturday morning, I found my first-of-fall Coot!


    Sunrise, Sunset…

    Sunrise, Sunset… - October 2012

    …swiftly go the days at the Circle B Bar Reserve! I ended up making three trips there this weekend. Once on Friday morning when I first saw the Snail Kite, then again on Saturday morning to show Dyeyo the Snail Kite, and then Saturday afternoon to try to catch the Snail Kite in decent light. (That didn't work out so well. More on that later this week.) So I had …Read More


    First Light

    First Light - October 2012

    I love photographing the sunrise out on the Wading Bird Way trail at the Circle B Bar Reserve. You're standing on a trail between two bodies of water. You face one to photograph the rising sun. Then you turn to face the other, where birds often sit conveniently on posts and soak in the morning light. This Great Blue Heron didn't care when I approached him and started to take …Read More


    My First Snail Kite

    My First Snail Kite - October 2012

    It was a beautiful off-Friday morning today at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I arrived before dawn and walked out to the Wading Bird Way trail for sunrise. I wasn't really hoping for any bird in particular - it just felt so good to be there! As I walked out, I thought about the recent posting about a Snail Kite sighting in the area. I thought, "nah, I'll never see …Read More


    For My Mom

    For My Mom - October 2012

    Happy B-Day to my mom! Here are the hummer pictures I promised you from Bok. As you can see, our juvie Rufous is turning into a little boy. Look at the red under his throat! He continues to guard the firebushes from the other hummingbirds. I took a little video of him on one of his favorite perches. It's amazing how active these little guys are, even when they are …Read More


    Gray Cat Meets Gray Catbird

    Gray Cat Meets Gray Catbird - October 2012

    I saw my first-of-fall Gray Catbird on Sunday at Bok Tower. Then we had one in our backyard tonight, along with a male Painted Bunting. Squirt was very happy to finally meet his namesake gray catbird. Now Whiskey wants to know when he'll get to see a Black-and-White Warbler!


    Solemn Stare

    Solemn Stare - October 2012

    I found this Wood Stork last weekend on a pale foggy morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. He seemed curious about me, and he kept watching my camera. These guys are like the old men of the swamp. Look at that face!


    Fussy Birds

    Fussy Birds - October 2012

    I was listening to the eagles the other morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve when I heard strange scuffling sounds. I looked up and saw this pair of Wood Storks fighting with each other at the top of a nearby tree. I guess one of them invaded the other's personal bubble…my cats can identify with that!


    Circle B Christmas Trees

    Circle B Christmas Trees - October 2012

    At this time of year, the Wood Storks and Double-Crested Cormorants tend to roost in the tall trees in the middle of the marsh at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I often think of these as the "Christmas Trees," except they are decorated with birds instead of ornaments. When you're at CBBR on a sunny morning and you see decorated Christmas trees, it's good news for you if you want …Read More


    Strike a Pose

    Strike a Pose - September 2012

    I finally made it back out to the Circle B Bar Reserve yesterday morning! It felt so good to get back out there. The Marsh Rabbit Run trail is now open, and I hiked it in the cool morning breeze. It wasn't a super-birdy day, although I did find a couple of Common Yellowthroats and a Yellow Warbler. The Bald Eagles and Belted Kingfishers are back, and their calls blended …Read More


    Woodpecker Feast

    Woodpecker Feast - September 2012

    When I was last at Mead Gardens, there were ripe berries on trees everywhere. It seems that Nature takes care of our migrants pretty well, offering them tempting food options on their journey to their winter grounds. The locals don't mind the food, either. This Red-Bellied Woodpecker was so intent on eating his berries that he hardly cared about the photographer who kept getting closer to him!


    Interesting Branch-Mates

    Interesting Branch-Mates - September 2012

    Yesterday I wrote about seeing my first Rufous Hummingbird and how the bird was very territorial. Well, she had competition from this mockingbird. Mockingbirds are the most territorial birds in my backyard, especially during nesting season. Yesterday this mocker had laid claim to the same firebush as the hummingbird. They ended up defending the same bush - while seated on the same branch! I wish I had gotten a picture …Read More


    My First Rufous Hummingbird

    My First Rufous Hummingbird - September 2012

    This morning I headed to Bok Tower to search for hummingbirds and migrants. The gardens staff have worked hard to attract hummingbirds to the area, and they have certainly succeeded. I've never seen so many hummers there before. Clumps of hummingbird friendly plants are tucked all throughout the gardens, especially red salvias and firebush. I knew of a particularly large clump of firebush near the Window by the Pond, so …Read More


    Migration Forecast

    Migration Forecast - September 2012

    I was up early and ready to head out to look for migrants this morning…and then I heard the raindrops on the roof. My radar on my phone showed green all over the state, and a 50% rain forecast by 9am. Never mind on the birding trip… (and then it cleared up mid-morning! not fair!) So here's a migrant picture from last fall. The Yellow Warblers are so bright and …Read More


    Fishing Buddies

    Fishing Buddies - September 2012

    I had such a good time watching the gulls and the pelicans at Fort De Soto on my last visit. Those gulls are smart - they hang around the pelicans, and when the pelicans grab a big mouthful of fish, the gulls swoop in and steal a bite. I watched them do it over and over. This was my best shot of the behavior. What lazy gulls!


    Perfect Moment

    Perfect Moment - September 2012

    I was going back through my images from the year to prepare my annual Christmas calendars. I came across this one and thought of my friend Kim from the lake, who will soon become a grandmother. This was such a special day, when I met Kim and got to photograph this day-old cygnet on the nest with Mom. :) I can't wait for next spring!


    Alone in the Crowd

    Alone in the Crowd - September 2012

    The Sandwich Terns at North Beach made me laugh. I'm not sure if they were trying for courtship behaviors, or if they were just being silly. I watched several bring in nice fish, then just stand there trying to get attention from everybody else. Why didn't they just eat their fish? Sometimes the crowd would catch on and start up a chase, but a couple of times the tern finally …Read More


    Happy Squirrel

    Happy Squirrel - September 2012

    Yesterday the first creature I saw when I arrived was this happy squirrel. He certainly did have his mouth full! He took his prize higher and higher into the tree to eat it.


    My First Northern Waterthrush

    My First Northern Waterthrush - September 2012

    I went to Mead Gardens this morning to search for migrant songbirds. It was a gray morning, and as I left, the rainclouds were growing very black. I wasn't expecting to see much, and I didn't. There were cardinals and mockingbirds, a pair of American Redstarts, some Tufted Titmice, a Brown Thrasher, several Carolina Wrens, and Red-Bellied and Downy Woodpeckers. I stood quietly, waiting for the birds to come by, …Read More


    Cue the Yawn!

    Cue the Yawn! - September 2012

    It's Friday…thank goodness! This Royal Tern seems to understand how I feel at the end of the week. Time for a weekend of photography and rest!


    Time to Grow Up!

    Time to Grow Up! - September 2012

    While photographing the terns at Fort De Soto over Labor Day weekend, I heard the incessant fussing of a hungry juvenile. It didn't take me long to spot the fusser, who looked all spiffy in his fresh juvenal plumage. (Adult shorebirds at this time of year have worn feathers, and are easily distinguished from their recently-molted offspring.) This juvenile was so insistent that Mom give him a nice breakfast. The …Read More


    North Beach Sunset

    North Beach Sunset - September 2012

    This was the same sunset as the close-up Great Blue Heron sunset shot from a few nights ago. This wide-angle shot is a very different perspective! I was a little sad to see the changes in North Beach since the tropical storms re-shaped the beach. The terns practically had their own little beach with the way the water pools are formed. I was there at low tide. Daniel said that …Read More


    Ring-Necked Duck in July!?

    Ring-Necked Duck in July!? - September 2012

    The last couple of times that I've been to Lake Morton, I've noticed this lone Ring-Necked Duck out in the water. With all the ducks, swans, and geese at the "menagerie," you might not think that was so strange…except for the fact that all his friends flew north several months ago! I wonder what made him decide to stay in Lakeland for the summer. Maybe he really likes 100-degree weather …Read More


    Flying Sandwiches

    Flying Sandwiches - September 2012

    I really enjoyed my Labor Day morning at Fort De Soto this past weekend. When I arrived at North Beach just after sunrise, I found the beach covered in terns. It was funny how the photographers walked right past Big Red to instead focus on the masses of terns. I practiced a lot of panning that morning, trying to quickly lock focus on the fly-bys and pan with them to …Read More


    Orange and Black

    Orange and Black - September 2012

    Last Sunday at Fort De Soto, I walked onto North Beach and wondered what kinds of pictures I could take. The beach was crowded with people, the birds had all retreated into the bird sanctuary (smart birds!), and the sun was hiding behind the clouds. But as the sun got lower in the sky, it glowed a beautiful orange, and I found a lone Great Blue Heron who became my …Read More


    Sunset Blast-Off

    Sunset Blast-Off - September 2012

    Rich and I spent a happy couple of days at Fort De Soto over the Labor Day weekend. I know the shorebirds have been congregating there as they prepare for their fall migratory trip to South America. North Beach in the early mornings is a bird photographer's paradise with hundreds of subjects in incredible light. I was really hoping to get some blast-off shots of the large flocks, but I …Read More


    Springtime Bath

    Springtime Bath - September 2012

    This is a Laughing Gull shot from this spring that I finally got around to processing. I love this shot because it reminds me of what a happy morning it was when I took it. The breeze was cool, the sun felt good on my face, I was out on the beach for the first time in months, the sand between my toes, and this happy gull in fresh plumage …Read More


    Labor Day Cloudscape

    Labor Day Cloudscape - September 2012

    This cloudscape image was taken at Circle B about a week ago, as the clouds of Tropical Storm Isaac passed through. As it turned out, that's pretty much all we got from Isaac - clouds and some rain. Although my dad did get a day off from school for it - lucky duck!


    Here’s Lookin’ at You!

    Here’s Lookin’ at You! - August 2012

    This is a Barred Owl from my visit to Circle B last weekend. He was sitting high in the trees near the bend where the Alligator Alley trail turns towards the marsh. It's one of the favorite hang-outs of the owls. I actually walked right past him, but some friendly people on the trails pointed him out.


    Save the Best for Last

    Save the Best for Last - August 2012

    As I prepared to leave Lake Morton on Sunday, I stopped to photograph a Limpkin standing tall by the lakeside. I approached cautiously, tucking myself behind a tree so as not to surprise him. When I emerged on my knees to photograph him at eye-level, I was the one who got the surprise. He had five little Limpkin chicks with him! They were a little older than the chicks that …Read More


    Late Bloomer

    Late Bloomer - August 2012

    I was a little surprised to find a tiny Mallard chick at Lake Morton on Sunday. He toppled into the water to follow Mom when I accidentally spooked her. He had a whole family of Mallards who seemed to be watching out for him. It's unusual to see just one of this size - the clutches are usually pretty large, which is good given the low survival rate of the …Read More


    The Three Stooges

    The Three Stooges - August 2012

    When I got out of the car at Lake Morton on Sunday, these "Three Stooges" nearly knocked me over as they begged for food. They are so used to people feeding them that they expect everybody to be a food dispenser! No matter where you go around the lake, you find these guys, often in groups of three. They are so funny to watch as they chase the other ducks! …Read More


    Father Goose’s Teenagers

    Father Goose’s Teenagers - August 2012

    Regular readers of my blog may remember Father Goose from about a month ago. He's the goose at Lake Morton that befriends Muscovy ducklings and helps protect them as they grow up. A month ago, this is how he looked with his adopted family… Well, these days he's looking after teenagers. While I was there on Sunday, I didn't see Mama Duck anywhere, but Father Goose was still sticking close …Read More


    Gray Icky Morning at Lake Morton

    Gray Icky Morning at Lake Morton - August 2012

    I stopped by Lake Morton this morning on my way to help my dad in his computer lab. It was very gray and nasty outside as Tropical Storm Isaac approached. But I haven't had much opportunity to photograph lately, so even gray days are fun. Plus I always enjoy my time with the birds at Lake Morton. You can't go to Lake Morton without seeing swans. I read recently that …Read More


    Circle B Awaits Tropical Storm Isaac

    Circle B Awaits Tropical Storm Isaac - August 2012

    Although the center of Tropical Storm Isaac is several days away, the wind was already picking up this morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. It felt great! I went out to Lake Hancock for the (lack of) sunrise, then stayed on the dock photographing birds in flight for almost an hour. The breezes were wonderful. Then I made my way up the Alligator Alley trail. It was great to …Read More


    Passion Flower

    Passion Flower - August 2012

    I came across this passion flower out on the Eagle Roost trail at Circle B a few weeks ago. The bee decided to fly in while I was shooting. How nice!


    Cloudy HDR

    Cloudy HDR - August 2012

    Did I mention that the weather was really, really bad on Sunday at Viera Wetlands? :) But it was still a great morning. I liked how the dark clouds made a backdrop for the palm trees in this landscape image. It's an HDR composite with some Nik ColorEfex tonal magic. I couldn't resist taking out the cell phone tower… :)


    Bigfoot Sighting

    Bigfoot Sighting - August 2012

    I think I found Bigfoot last weekend at the Viera Wetlands! Dina calls these Common Gallinule chicks "alien babies," which is an excellent description of the newborns. This guy is starting to molt into his juvenile plumage, and so I guess he's half-alien. He also has a very big foot!!


    A Rainy Day First

    A Rainy Day First - August 2012

    I had a photography "lifer" yesterday at Viera Wetlands - my first up-close Stilt Sandpiper. He was hanging out with some Black-Necked Stilts in a nice shallow part of the water. He's molting into basic plumage, and look at those wings! They show a lot of wear and tear from his long trip south. Non-birding friends are often surprised to hear that fall migration begins so early in the summer. …Read More


    Cloudy Morning at Viera Wetlands

    Cloudy Morning at Viera Wetlands - August 2012

    I debated whether to go out to photograph this morning. The forecast was just plain gross - 70% cloudcover, 50% chance of rain by 11:00, and over 90% humidity. Yep, that's Florida in the summer! But I woke up early and decided that it's been weeks since I've been able to get out, so I might as well go and enjoy it. I headed to Viera Wetlands, where I could …Read More


    They’re Ba-ack!

    They’re Ba-ack! - August 2012

    While I haven't been out to see them myself, reports from Birdbrains indicate that the shorebirds are starting to arrive back in Florida for the winter. Yes, winter. It's July! These birds are incredible. They get all spiffy-looking in their breeding colors in May, fly to the Arctic, have their babies, and arrive back in late July with those spiffy feathers well-worn from their long trip. Amazing, huh? We're happy …Read More


    The Ugliest Bird?

    The Ugliest Bird? - July 2012

    I was going back through some of my old images and came across this Wood Stork, taken in January at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I love how some of his wing feathers are catching the light and look iridescent.


    Picture Perfect

    Picture Perfect - July 2012

    A few weekends ago when I was photographing at Swan Lake (a.k.a. Lake Morton), I looked up from the cute babies to see this Mallard sitting posed in great light with a perfect reflection. I loved the contrast of his feathers against the blue lake background. I kinda wished the cute babies would have stood as still as he did, too! :)


    Summer Sunrise at Circle B

    Summer Sunrise at Circle B - July 2012

    With a slight breeze in the forecast, I spent the morning out on the Wading Bird Way trail at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  It's been ages since I went, and it felt great to be there!  The water levels are much higher than my last visit, when the Wading Bird Way lake was basically a mud flat.  Now the water is high enough that it flows freely through all …Read More


    Swan Lake

    Swan Lake - July 2012

    My hubby isn't the most, um, obsessed about birding. So I had to laugh when he asked me, "are you going back to the Goosey Pond this weekend?" He was referring to Lake Morton and Father Goose…but I had to disagree on his name for the place. I much prefer "Swan Lake!" :)


    “Learn and Help”

    “Learn and Help” - July 2012

    I was pleased to donate the use of one of my photographs to American Bird Conservancy's Help Gulf Birds website aimed at protecting shorebirds on Florida's coasts. Check it out!


    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Duck, Duck, Goose! - July 2012

    All the birds at Lake Morton are playing "Duck, Duck, Goose!" as they watch Father Goose take care of his little ones. Mrs. Muscovy posed with her bright white face against a nice green background. She tried to be dignified, but it's hard when you have a feather on your beak. This is one of Mrs. Muscovy's little ones. At first I thought I liked the little yellow and black …Read More


    Father Goose

    Father Goose - July 2012

    Many human children grow up hearing the tales of Mother Goose. On Lake Morton, the young chicks grow up with Father Goose. This unique goose takes it upon himself to play nanny with young Muscovy duck families. I spent a sweet couple of hours with this little family on Saturday morning at Lake Morton. A friend who lives on the lake hypothesizes that this goose lost his mate several years …Read More


    Lazy Morning at the Viera Wetlands

    Lazy Morning at the Viera Wetlands - July 2012

    The summer heat is definitely here in Florida, and I was too lazy to go for a hot hike last Sunday morning. So I went to Viera Wetlands, where I can bird and photograph from the air-conditioned comfort of my car! I like how I can cover more ground driving than hiking. I'll find a good spot, set up, and photograph there for a while. Running into friends was also …Read More


    Stars and Beaks Forever!

    Stars and Beaks Forever! - July 2012

    Happy Fourth of July! I took this image several years ago.  At the time I thought it was one of my best images.  After revisiting it today, I realized how under-exposed and noisy the original capture was!  I attempted to clean it up with post-processing.  


    Bittersweet Skimmer Colony Memories

    Bittersweet Skimmer Colony Memories - July 2012

    For a year I've been looking forward to the hatching of a new crop of Black Skimmers at a colony located on the West Coast of Florida.  Approximately 500 adults return to the same patch of beach to make their nests and raise their chicks.  Closely supervised by the Audubon bird stewards, these birds co-exist with happy beachgoers.  "Aw!  It's a baby!  Look, the babies match the color of the …Read More


    Burrowing Owls at Brian Piccolo Park

    Burrowing Owls at Brian Piccolo Park - June 2012

    I made it to Brian Piccolo Park this year after all!  When Rich and I went to West Palm Beach to visit the turtles, we planned to also visit Butterfly World.  I've been wanting to visit the free-flight hummingbirds there ever since I saw Jamie's incredible photo of the butterfly landing on a hummer's head.  Unfortunately, the rain started to pour just as we reached the exit for Butterfly World.  …Read More


    Father’s Day at the Polk Rookery

    Father’s Day at the Polk Rookery - June 2012

    Herman invited my dad and me out on his boat to visit the Polk Rookery on Father's Day.  Activity there is winding down.  Many of the young birds have already fledged.  Recent rains have left the rookery cleaner — and less smelly — than I remember from the end of last season.  There was still enough activity to keep our cameras busy… :) The White Ibis and Cattle Egrets continue …Read More


    Sunrise at the Shell Beach

    Sunrise at the Shell Beach - June 2012

    This weekend we visited my grandfather in West Palm Beach after doing our turtle walk.  It was great to see him, and all the places in Juno that I used to visit as a child.  I had been especially looking forward to photographing the sunrise at Coral Cove Park, better known in our family as the "Shell Beach."  My mom and I spent hours there combing the shore for special …Read More


    The Incredible Nesting Sea Turtle

    The Incredible Nesting Sea Turtle - June 2012

    For years I've been telling Rich about going on turtle walks when I was little.  My grandparents lived really close to Loggerhead Park, a turtle rehabilitation center.  It was right across the street from the beach.  The center occasionally sponsored walks at night, allowing people to see the adult turtles as they come to the beach to lay eggs, and once I also got to help release a turtle hatchling.  …Read More


    Dixie Iris

    Dixie Iris - June 2012

    After a photograph-packed weekend last weekend, this weekend was "catch up around the house."  So today's image is a Dixie Iris that I photographed at the Circle B Bar Reserve back in early March.  It was so pretty, blooming along the Alligator Alley trail, that I just had to stop and get it.  Even if it doesn't have wings! :)  


    Eyes on You

    Eyes on You - June 2012

    I was very excited to have an unexpected opportunity to photograph a Burrowing Owl family last weekend.  It was a rainy morning, thanks to Tropical Storm Beryl.   I found the adult owls sitting on fenceposts, and several chicks were sitting on the burrow beneath.  How fun!  They are so small and cute!   I've never seen these guys before. The two chicks were so funny as they sat outside their burrow.  …Read More


    Put Your Best Spoon Forward!

    Put Your Best Spoon Forward! - June 2012

    I spent last Sunday morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  Boy it feels good to get back out there!  I was happy to find lots and lots of Roseate Spoonbills still hanging around off the Wading Bird Way trail.  I counted over 100!  These beautiful birds are some of my favorite ones to photograph.  About an hour after sunrise, they seemed to get their fill of breakfast, and they …Read More


    Gather Ye Tern Chicks While Ye May…

    Gather Ye Tern Chicks While Ye May… - May 2012

    Last Saturday I had the privilege of photographing the Least Tern Colony near Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine.  The Least Terns are the smallest terns in their family, and each year they come to St. Augustine in the spring to lay their eggs and raise their families.  Their nests are nothing more than tiny indentations in the sand, and the local Audubon groups monitor the colony nesting site and provide …Read More


    No Vacancies!

    No Vacancies! - May 2012

    I'm still going through my images from Saturday morning at the Fort Matanzas tern colony.  There was a nest that was very very close to us, and it was incredible!  So I'll have a full post tomorrow, and until then, here's a teaser…no vacancies!


    Dinnertime for Junior at the Winter Park Osprey Nest

    Dinnertime for Junior at the Winter Park Osprey Nest - May 2012

    Last week I made another visit to the Winter Park Osprey nest.  The baby has gotten so big since my last visit!  He is clearly visible over the side of the nest now.  Mama was feeding him as I arrived.  Mmm, fish was on the menu… Mama feeds the baby by tearing off little bits of fish and poking them into his open mouth.  Sometimes she would keep a bite …Read More


    Happy Birthday, Dyeyo D!

    Happy Birthday, Dyeyo D! - May 2012

    A few weeks ago we celebrated Dyeyo's b-day early with a trip to Blue Cypress Lake.  Al0ng with friends Michael, Donna, and Susan, we took a pontoon boat ride to photograph the Ospreys nesting around the lake.  Dyeyo couldn't believe how many nests there were - easily one per tree in certain areas.  It was a beautiful morning and we had a great time. Joe Middleton from Middleton Fish Camp …Read More


    One More from my Visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve

    One More from my Visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2012

    One more post from Sunday's trip to the Circle B Bar Reserve… There's a new family of Sandhill Cranes out on Wading Bird Way. The adults had the colts out on a "vegetation island" while I was there. From the pictures posted on Flickr, it looks like they later brought the babies up onto the trail. The babies are still tiny and in their "super-cute" phase. Who can resist a …Read More


    More from Circle B Bar Reserve

    More from Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2012

    As I drove to work with the rising sun in my eyes this morning, all I could think was that I'd rather be at the Circle B Bar Reserve! :) It's unusual when I have such a good morning that I have to extend my description to multiple blog posts. This one is looking like it'll be a three-parter… This Great Blue Heron was so pretty in the pre-dawn light. …Read More


    Sunrise Wings at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sunrise Wings at Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2012

    It's been ages since I've been to Circle B.  It's sad…I used to go there every weekend, at least!  So it felt great to spend the morning on Wading Bird Way.  The water levels are really really low.  Half of the "lake" is now a mud flat.  But the good thing is that the low water levels attract hundreds of wading birds.  A sea of white wings greeted me.  Birds …Read More


    A Quest for a Black Belly

    A Quest for a Black Belly - May 2012

    I was on a quest this spring to photograph a Black-Bellied Plover in full breeding plumage.  As I visited Fort De Soto periodically throughout their molting time, I was able to catch them at various stages of color.  I got close to catching a fully molted bird, but not quite…maybe next year!


    Junior is Getting Bigger

    Junior is Getting Bigger - May 2012

    I dragged Rich to Winter Park last Friday for dinner and an Osprey nest.  The baby Osprey is getting bigger.  Last time he was barely visible over the side of the nest.  He was pretty active when I first arrived, while his mom fed him.  Then he hunkered down underneath her for a nap, and he didn't come out again, despite all my begging and pleading.


    Do You Miss Us Yet?

    A Morning at the Farm

    A Morning at the Farm - May 2012

    After visiting with the Least Terns a week ago, Michael and I stopped by the St. Augustine Alligator Farm to check out the rookery.  I can't believe this is my first visit to a rookery this spring!  Last spring I practically lived in them. It's prime nesting season at the rookery now.  The Great Egret chicks are pretty big.  Tiny Tricolored Herons and Snowy Egrets are beginning to hatch.  There …Read More


    Least Tern Courtship

    Least Tern Courtship - May 2012

    Ever since my terrific morning photographing the Least Terns at Fort Matanzas last spring, I've been counting the days until their return. I couldn't wait to have more opportunities to photograph these little birds. They return to Florida in the last few weeks of April and begin their courtship behaviors immediately. Their nests are tiny indentures in the sand, and their babies will hatch in late May to early June. …Read More


    "Really Cool and Far Out"

    "Really Cool and Far Out" - May 2012

    (Rich picked the title.  I hope you agree with him.) This is a Fractalized image of two Tricolored Heron babies taken last weekend at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.  The nest was at waist-level and so close to the boardwalk that I had to add an extension tube to the Beast to be able to focus.  I love how these little babies look like they are having such bad hair …Read More


    Long-Billed Curlew

    Long-Billed Curlew - May 2012

    I wanted to go to Fort De Soto this morning, to try for a Black-Bellied Plover in full breeding plumage.  But it was a long week, and I opted to relax instead.  So here's an image from several weeks ago…  


    East Beach Sunrise

    East Beach Sunrise - May 2012

    I had fun photographing the sunrise on the morning that I went to Fort De Soto to look for migrants.  When I arrived at the East Beach turnaround, the sun was just beginning to peek out from over the horizon.  I spotted a Great Blue Heron near me, so I tried to position him for a nice silhouette. There were TONS of gulls in the distance.  It was incredible just …Read More


    Something Different

    Something Different - May 2012

    Rich and I stopped at Lowry Park Zoo on our way home from Fort De Soto a few weeks ago.  It was mid-day, so the light was horrible and the animals were asleep.  I didn't take many pictures.  There aren't as many wading birds nesting over the alligator exhibit this year, and I didn't see any spoonbill nests.  That was disappointing.  But another pink bird gave me an interesting opportunity…


    Baby Ducks at Lake Morton

    Baby Ducks at Lake Morton - May 2012

    While checking on the swan nests at Lake Morton recently, I've gotten to see some other fun babies too.  In early April, I came across a flock of recently-hatched Mallard chicks, probably between 12 and 18 of them.  In later visits, the babies were bigger, although in fewer numbers.  They are certainly well-fed at that lake, so they do grow quickly! But my best surprise was finding this pair of …Read More


    Quiet Morning at Mead Gardens

    Quiet Morning at Mead Gardens - May 2012

    On the morning of the big Fort De Soto fallout, the forecast was for clouds and rain.  I went over to Mead Gardens, figuring I'd get an hour of birding in if I was lucky.  Mead is a local migrant hotspot, so I figured I might see some birds brought in by the winds of the front.  Quite the opposite!  The birding was great at De Soto that morning, and …Read More


    Piggy-Back Rides – Fort De Soto Laughing Gulls

    Piggy-Back Rides – Fort De Soto Laughing Gulls - May 2012

    I've enjoyed the opportunity to photograph Laughing Gull courtship behaviors over the past two weekends at Fort De Soto.  My mom asked me, "what's with your recent interesting in photographing…that?"  Well, it's fun!  Birds can be such clowns when it comes to flirting.  And what photographer can resist a good action shot? The courtship begins with fussing.  Lots and lots of fussing. The female runs around begging the male for …Read More


    Peek-a-boo

    Peek-a-boo - May 2012

    A friend let me know that the Winter Park Osprey chicks had hatched, so I went over there on Tuesday night to see the babies.  Almost as soon as I got there, Mama bent her head over into the nest, seemed to listen for a second, and then stepped aside…and then splat! went a waste dump over the side of the nest.  It's amazing how young they learn, hehe.  I …Read More


    The Story of a Swan

    The Story of a Swan - May 2012

    As I teased on last Friday, I stopped by Lake Morton on my way home from Fort De Soto and found a newborn cygnet.  I went back on Sunday morning to observe the nest and spend some time with the baby.  This little guy has a band of followers (hi Kim! hi Pam!) who spent the weekend watching over the nest.  One of the men dubbed him "Baby Friday," and …Read More


    Watching and Waiting

    Watching and Waiting - May 2012

    On Saturday afternoon I dragged Rich over to Winter Park for a romantic dinner and a nest-watching expedition.  (It's the birdie version of dinner and a movie!)  The nest is on top of a platform close to Park Avenue, right across the street from a convenient parking garage.  You drive to the top of the garage and shoot away.  The distant green trees make for a wonderful background. My friends …Read More


    Black and White Wonderings

    Black and White Wonderings - April 2012

    As frequent readers of my blog know, we adopted a black and white kitten last year.  He's been helping me review my recent images from Lake Morton, and he's a little confused.  You see, here's the picture I  took of a Black Swan cygnet in early April: …and here's the picture I took of a Mute Swan cygnet last week: Now Whiskey wonders: why do both black and white swans …Read More


    A Rainbow of Color at Fort De Soto

    A Rainbow of Color at Fort De Soto - April 2012

    After last weekend's fallout of migratory birds at Fort De Soto, I so wanted to take a vacation day on Monday to go birding there.  But I was good and responsible…and I went over on my next off-Friday.  Wow!  It was my first migration experience and it was just incredible.  I had a total of 9 lifers for the day. I started out the morning with the sunrise at the …Read More


    Preview of Coming Attractions…

    Preview of Coming Attractions… - April 2012

    I had the most incredible day today!  I went to Fort De Soto to check out the migrants, and I finally got my first Scarlet Tanager male, along with a ton of orioles, grosbeaks, buntings, and a few warblers.  Birders kept telling me that today was a "slow" day in comparison to last weekend's fallout…but to me, it was awesome!  I stopped at Lake Morton to check on the swan …Read More


    A Stop at the Fort De Soto Pier

    A Stop at the Fort De Soto Pier - April 2012

    While we were at Fort De Soto last weekend, I told Rich that we needed to stop at the Gulf Pier to look for dolphins, and maybe sea turtles.  Rich went along, but didn't expect to see much.  When we arrived, we were seeing dolphins every five seconds!  They are hard to photograph, though, because they dive so quickly.  You barely have time to focus on them before they go …Read More


    Three Hours Sitting in One Spot at Fort De Soto

    Three Hours Sitting in One Spot at Fort De Soto - April 2012

    Rich and I returned to North Beach at Fort De Soto on Friday morning.  It was great – he dropped me off, went to get breakfast, and brought me breakfast on the beach!  What a great hubby.  In the meantime, I had found a couple of Laughing Gulls demonstrating courtship behaviors at the tidal pool by the concession stand.  I plopped down in the sand with The Beast.  Three hours …Read More


    Escape to Fort De Soto

    Escape to Fort De Soto - April 2012

    Rich and I took a much-needed day off from work last Friday and escaped to Fort De Soto for a weekend photography adventure.  We were glad we went Thursday night, which allowed us to get in one day of photography before the rains came.  And of course, we missed the terrific migrant activity that the storms brought later in the weekend.  Oh well! Our first stop at Fort De Soto …Read More


    Signs of Spring at the Viera Wetlands

    Signs of Spring at the Viera Wetlands - April 2012

    Last weekend I spent a morning at the Viera Wetlands.  It was a cloudy morning, with sunshine in spurts, and I was just happy to be outside.  The Great Blue Herons chicks are growing up quickly, as I wrote about last week.  There were also many other signs of springtime around the wetlands.  Sometimes the common birds are the most fun to phtoograph… I was down on the edge of …Read More


    How Quickly They Grow Up!

    How Quickly They Grow Up! - April 2012

    I visited Viera Wetlands yesterday morning in hopes of photographing the Anhinga babies from the nest that I observed back in March.  I caught the adults building the nest and copulating, and I was excited to pair those photos with a few baby portraits.  The nest was awesome, too – close to the berm, and the distant wetlands provided a nice blurred background.  Alas, I arrived and found the nest …Read More


    A Walk Around Lake Morton

    A Walk Around Lake Morton - April 2012

    Last week Rich and I were in Lakeland to judge the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair.  We had a great time talking to the students about their projects.  Afterward, I twisted Rich’s arm into taking a nice walk around nearby Lake Morton.  I wanted to see if the Mute Swans were nesting yet – and yes, they are!  Two hours and a gorgeous sunset later, I had a cardful …Read More


    Happy Easter!

    Happy Easter! - April 2012

    I hope this picture of a Mallard duckling doing the splits will bring a smile to everyone on Easter.  More from Lake Morton in the next post!


    A Quick Stop at Joe Overstreet

    A Quick Stop at Joe Overstreet - April 2012

    Last Saturday on the way back from Blue Cypress Lake, we stopped at Joe Overstreet Road on the way back to Orlando.  It was mid-day, so I wasn't sure there would be much bird activity, and the light wasn't great.  But Joe Overstreet can be a good place to see Crested Caracara, Bald Eagles, and occasionally Whooping Cranes, so I didn't want to miss the opportunity. We found a flock …Read More


    Osprey Nesting Time at Blue Cypress Lake

    Osprey Nesting Time at Blue Cypress Lake - April 2012

    Saturday morning was an incredible morning to be at Blue Cypress Lake.  Some friends and I made the trip down the turnpike to the lake, which is near Yeehaw Junction.  The lake is full of bass, which makes it a popular hangout spot for the Osprey population.  Hundreds of Osprey nests can be found in the tops of the cypress trees.  We took a pontoon boat out on the lake …Read More


    Sunrise on Blue Cypress Lake

    Sunrise on Blue Cypress Lake - April 2012

    On Saturday I joined friends Michael, Donna, and Susan on a much-anticipated trip to Blue Cypress Lake.  The lake is a prime location for nesting Ospreys.  I will post more on the trip and birds tomorrow – but for today, here are some teaser sunrise shots.  :) The clouds added some interesting features to the sky as the sun peeked over the trees on the horizon.  The reflection in the …Read More


    Now You See Them…

    Now You See Them… - April 2012

    …and now you don't!  I guess April Fool's is a good day for a photographer to confess to some Photoshopping. :) I was photographing the Sandhill Crane colts at the Circle B Bar Reserve last weekend.  I set my camera to the fastest frame speed, which I don't often do, because I don't need to waste my camera shutter or my post-processing time on images that are virtually identical.  But …Read More


    More from the North Beach Shores at Fort De Soto…

    More from the North Beach Shores at Fort De Soto… - March 2012

    I had such a good morning at Fort De Soto a few weekends ago, and it's taken me that long to finish going through my images!  I had four lifers that day: Common Loon, Red Knot, Lark Sparrow, and my first non-captive Great Horned Owls, with baby!  Combine that opportunity with the awesome light at North Beach, and you get a happy photographer with a full memory card. :) The …Read More


    A Foggy Morning Turns Cute at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    A Foggy Morning Turns Cute at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2012

    The weather forecasters had it all wrong last weekend.  They said it would be partially cloudy on Saturday, rainy on Sunday.  Try it the other way around, guys.  So I went to Circle B on Saturday hoping for partial cloudcover, and I got thick fog until around 10:00.  But that was ok, because at 10:00, the Sandhill Crane family from the Marsh Rabbit Run nest brought their babies to the …Read More


    Spider Wars

    Spider Wars - March 2012

    Last weekend I stopped by a local park to photograph the Sandhill Crane colts that were born at the park a few weeks ago.  Some friends had mentioned that there were great photo opportunities with this family, who are so friendly that the colts practically walk right up to you.  My friends weren't kidding!  I found the birds down by the lake and they quickly moved up to the parking …Read More


    Peek a Boo (Baby Sandhill Cranes at the Circle B Bar Reserve)

    Peek a Boo (Baby Sandhill Cranes at the Circle B Bar Reserve) - March 2012

    Yesterday I took advantage of my off-Friday morning to visit the Circle B Bar Reserve, where a pair of Sandhill Cranes has been incubating a nest for the last four weeks or so.  I knew the colts were due to be born any time, and I hoped to photograph them interacting on their nest with Mom.  I've never seen them so young that they haven't yet left the nest.  So …Read More


    Long-Billed Curlew

    Long-Billed Curlew - March 2012

    Can you imagine going through life with a bill as long as your foot?  I watch the Long-Billed Curlew at Fort De Soto preening, and he amazes me.  That long bill is great for digging up crabs from deep in the sand, but it's pretty awkward to use to scratch an itch!  I was rewarded with several great opportunities to photograph the curlew last weekend.  I hope to make it …Read More


    Shades of Red

    Shades of Red - March 2012

    The White Ibises at Fort De Soto last weekend were sporting some very brilliant breeding colors.  A group of them fed for me in the little pool near the concession stand on the North Beach.  When bright white birds with great red beaks stand there patiently pulling crab after crab out of the water, it makes this photographer very happy… :)


    Looney Tunes

    Looney Tunes - March 2012

    I saw my first-ever loon yesterday at Fort De Soto.  I'm pretty sure he's a Common Loon.  He was swimming not too far from shore along the North Beach.  I had been thinking how neat it would be to see a loon, then I looked up, and there one was!  Not many mornings give you that kind of luck, and this wasn't my only lifer of the morning.  More on …Read More


    My Turn!

    My Turn! - March 2012

    Two years ago, Dyeyo found a Great Horned Owl nest at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  He showed me his pictures, and I went with him the next weekend to see the babies, but they had already fledged.  Ever since then, I've been itching to have "my turn" with Great Horned owlets.  Today my turn finally came at Fort De Soto, where there is a Great Horned Owl nest in …Read More


    Nesting Great Blue Herons

    Nesting Great Blue Herons - March 2012

    Last weekend at Viera Wetlands I had a good time watching some Great Blue Heron nests.  This first nest had two small chicks, and the parents were being careful to keep the nest built up well around their young offspring.  One particularly long stick was rather problematic.  It was so long, longer than the nest itself.  No matter how they positioned it, it stuck out on the side of the …Read More


    Achoo!  Spring Cleaning Time at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Achoo! Spring Cleaning Time at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2012

    Last Saturday at the Circle B Bar Reserve, I heard a familiar drumming sound as I passed a dead tree.  In previous years, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers have made their nests inside this particular tree, and I've enjoyed watching the cavity hole as food is brought in for the babies.  So I stopped to watch the old hole, but after a few minutes, I hadn't seen the bird stick his head out.  …Read More


    Return of the Spring

    Return of the Spring - March 2012

    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 …Read More


    The Two Turtles – Circle B Bar Reserve

    The Two Turtles – Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2012

    To continue the "Lord of the Rings" titles, this post is about "The Two Turtles" (and some birds, hehe).  Rich was a very happy camper when I got home from the Circle B Bar Reserve with several pictures of turtles.  He said I had to post at least one – after all, this site is called catandturtle, even if we did name it before the bird obsession began!  So here's …Read More


    The Fellowship of the Nest

    The Fellowship of the Nest - March 2012

    As promised, here are more pictures from my morning at Circle B yesterday.  Although I failed to find the Great Horned Owlettes, I did find several other nests.  I love springtime at Circle B! The light was horrible (or rather, non-existent!) when I first arrived.  I noticed the Osprey on Heron Hideout gathering nesting material.  Last year he nested in the top of a dead palm tree, but I noticed …Read More


    Return to the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Return to the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2012

    I braved the foggy weather this morning to go to Circle B for the first time in two months.  It felt so good to get out there again!  Most of the ducks have left, but the resident birds are starting to nest.  I love this time of year.  The weather wasn't great for photography—the fog didn't clear until around 10:00—but I had a great time with the Beast anyway.  I …Read More


    Bottoms Up!

    Bottoms Up! - January 2012

    The most frustrating part about photographing ducks is that they give you far too many "butt-shot" opportunities.  Of course, if I was a duck and I had to dive for food, I guess I'd spend a lot of time with my head underwater as well!  I spent some time watching this Blue-Winged Teal diving, and I tried to capture her feet as she rummaged for her breakfast. I thought a …Read More


    Nesting Great Blue Herons

    Nesting Great Blue Herons - January 2012

    On my last day of Christmas break, Dyeyo and I went to Viera Wetlands.  The highlight of the morning were a couple of nesting pairs of Great Blue Herons.  They brought sticks in to their nests, gave us courtship shots, and then initiated the egg-making process. I was using my new 1D and having fun playing with the focus.  it is so accurate and fast, but it doesn't have the …Read More


    On the Run at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    On the Run at the Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2012

    Here's an appropriate post for my first day back to work – "on the run!"  This was an American Coot from the Circle B Bar Reserve from last Wednesday.  I love to try to catch them as they run across the water.  I got several good frames from this one, so I stitched them together in Photoshop to show the full trajectory.


    Mirror, Mirror, in the Lake…Who’s the Most Handsome Drake?

    Mirror, Mirror, in the Lake…Who’s the Most Handsome Drake? - January 2012

    Wednesday was a frigid morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. The forecast had predicted a low of 29 at 7am, but my car's thermometer was more optimistic, measuring 34. There was very little wind, and I was quite comfortable all bundled up in my old college coat. I made my way out to the Wading Bird Way trail in anticipation of a gorgeous sunrise. I was met by fog, …Read More


    Betcha Can’t Go Just Once!

    Betcha Can’t Go Just Once! - January 2012

    On December 31 I made yet another trip to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, this time with Dyeyo. He had never been on Blackpoint Wildlife Drive. We carefully planned to go on a day when it would be sunny with little wind. Then we got there and it was a little windy, and there were not as many birds as my last visits. Go figure. Our goal was for Dyeyo …Read More


    My First Visit to Lake Morton

    My First Visit to Lake Morton - January 2012

    After a quiet morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Friday, Dyeyo and I decided to head to Lake Morton. Herman has been telling me about it for ages, and he always knows the good birding places! There were lots of Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks sleeping on the lake. It was my first opportunity to see a male Ruddy. They are pretty. The Ruddys stayed out in the middle …Read More


    Circle B Bar Reserve is Pretty Quiet These Days

    Circle B Bar Reserve is Pretty Quiet These Days - January 2012

    Last Friday, my dad and I headed to the Circle B Bar Reserve for the first time in several weeks. We decided to hike the Alligator Alley trail, where I had seen several Painted Buntings on my previous visit. But we were rather disappointed. We saw the usual herons and egrets, and a couple of small pelican flocks flying over Lake Hancock, but that was it. We spent most of …Read More


    Silly Bird, Turn Your Head This Way!!

    Silly Bird, Turn Your Head This Way!! - December 2011

    After spending a cloudy morning cooped up in the house yesterday, the sun came out and I decided to head to Merritt Island to experiment with afternoon light at the Blackpoint Wildlife Drive. It was less windy than the previous day, and the birds were closer to the trail. The afternoon light was incredible! I had to work hard to get good head angles, though — the silly birds kept …Read More


    Finally!

    Finally! - December 2011

    Finally! I got to use The Beast for the first time in almost a month! After hearing friends talk about the great birds at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, I went there yesterday. Blackpoint Wildlife Drive was busier than I've ever seen it (both with birds and photographers :)). The birding wasn't spectacular, due to the winds, but I did get to see my first Horned Grebe. He was hanging …Read More


    Circle B Photo Walks Cancelled For the Rest of the Spring

    Circle B Photo Walks Cancelled For the Rest of the Spring - December 2011

    With regret, I will be cancelling the remainder of the Circle B Photo Walks for the season. My work has been consuming every waking moment, and I find that I can no longer dedicate the time to our photo walks. I hope to resume them next year. If you were considering attending one, you might want to attend a walk led by the Lake Region Audubon Society instead. They are …Read More


    December Photo Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

    December Photo Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2011

    My dad and I held the December photo walk at Circle B Bar Reserve this weekend. We were joined by Dick and Emi, a wonderfully enthusiastic couple, as well as my husband and in-laws who were visiting from Texas. We walked the Heron Hideout trail, Marsh Rabbit Run trail up to the Wading Bird Way trail. Although Circle B is not as active as it was last year, there are …Read More


    Frogs for Breakfast at Viera Wetlands

    Frogs for Breakfast at Viera Wetlands - December 2011

    Yesterday I wrote about my morning at the Click Ponds. Then I drove over to the Viera Wetlands, where the ducks are starting to come back. There were plenty of coots (10054 if you listen to Kathy!!), with a few Shoveler, Hooded Mergansers, and a Bufflehead mixed in. I should have started out at the wetlands. By the time I got there, the eagle had had his breakfast, and the …Read More


    Early Morning at the Viera Wetlands Click Ponds

    Early Morning at the Viera Wetlands Click Ponds - December 2011

    I had a great morning with friends at the Viera Wetlands. The morning started at the Click Ponds, two small ponds adjacent to the wetlands. After a post to Birdbrains yesterday about a Common Loon, which I've never seen, I was anxious to try for one. But we didn't see one. We did see my first Horned Grebe, but he was so far away that I won't embarrass myself by …Read More


    Painted Bunting at the Circle B Bar Reserve!

    Painted Bunting at the Circle B Bar Reserve! - December 2011

    It turned out to be a beautiful morning to be at the Circle B Bar Reserve. The forecast predicted some clouds, so I decided to hike the Alligator Alley trail, which I haven't done in a while. Sunrise over Lake Hancock was pretty, as always (and the forecasters were wrong - the clouds didn't come until later!) Alligator Alley was pretty quiet. I saw some gulls, including my first Ring-Billed …Read More


    Even an Icky Day is Good at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Even an Icky Day is Good at Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2011

    I almost decided not to go to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. The forecast predicted a mostly cloudy morning, and the cloud cover over our house at 6am was thick. But I didn't want to miss my last vacation opportunity to go to Circle B, so I went anyway. My dad likes to say that Circle B never disappoints, and today was no exception. I heard my first …Read More


    My First Bufflehead at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    My First Bufflehead at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2011

    Dyeyo and I spent a nice morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve a few days ago. I can't believe our Thanksgiving Week is almost over. It feels like it's lasted only one day! The marsh continues to be covered in pretty yellow flowers, called Burr Marigolds. I had only taken the Beast, so Dyeyo lent me his wide-angle lens to take some landscape shots. We hiked the Heron Hideout …Read More


    Three’s a Crowd

    Three’s a Crowd - November 2011

    Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time. A few days ago when I was at Viera Wetlands, I was waiting for a fly-in shot on a nice palm trunk perch. The birds weren't cooperating, though, and my attention moved to a Belted Kingfisher sitting on a different palm trunk. I noticed a second small bird sharing the perch with the kingfisher, and I …Read More


    In Search of a Long-Tailed Duck at Lake Davis

    In Search of a Long-Tailed Duck at Lake Davis - November 2011

    I've been reading about the Long-Tailed Duck on Birdbrains, so Rich and I decided to drive over to Lake Davis to see if we could find it.  Lake Davis is a small lake in the middle of a downtown Orlando neighborhood.  It's very close to Greenwood Cemetery, but I resisted the temptation to bore Rich with eagle-nest watching.  We did find lots of Ring-Necked Ducks at Lake Davis, but no …Read More


    Birds Posing on Palms at Viera Wetlands

    Birds Posing on Palms at Viera Wetlands - November 2011

    It's been a while since I went birding anywhere except the Circle B Bar Reserve, so I decided to head over to Viera Wetlands yesterday morning.  I've been following the birding news on Birdbrains and I knew that the wetlands aren't particularly active at the moment, and that was true.  But I did end up with some nice shots, mostly of birds posing on the dead palm trunks that are …Read More


    Sunrise with a Sora – Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sunrise with a Sora – Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2011

    I spent a very pleasant morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve yesterday morning.  I arrived about half an hour before sunrise and made my way out to the Wading Bird Way trail.  It's one of my favorite sunrise locations on the reserve.   I like to watch the sun peek out from over the trees covered in birds, then I turn around and photograph the birds in flight in the …Read More


    Yellow Flowers at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Yellow Flowers at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2011

    The two questions that I hear most often about Circle B are 1) When do the white pelicans arrive? and 2) When do the yellow flowers bloom? Well, I'm pleased to report that the answers to both questions are NOW! :) Several people have reported pelican fly-overs in the past week, and the marsh is all abloom with the burr marigolds. It's a great time to visit the reserve! I …Read More


    Flyin’ High

    Flyin’ High - November 2011

    These Blue-Winged Teals were some of the many that flew over Circle B's Wading Bird Way trail last Sunday at dawn.


    Which One Does Not Belong?

    Which One Does Not Belong? - November 2011

    Last weekend at Circle B, a lone Redhead Duck hung out in a pack of American Coots.


    My First Northern Harrier

    My First Northern Harrier - November 2011

    I got my first shot of a Northern Harrier at Circle B this weekend.  It's not particularly well exposed, but it's my proof – I saw him!


    Flight Shots at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Flight Shots at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2011

    Yesterday (Sunday) was a great morning for flight shots at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  The sunrise was pretty, then the birds were flying from the lake on Wading Bird Way across the trail towards Lake Hancock.  I saw Blue-Winged Teals, Green-Winged Teals, Gadwalls, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, and Mottled Ducks. The American Coots are by far the most common bird out on the lakes right now.  I always enjoy …Read More


    So Many Pictures, So Little Time…

    So Many Pictures, So Little Time… - November 2011

    I had a great morning at Circle B. The sunrise over the trees was spectacular, and the duck fly-overs gave me lots of flight shot practice. I'll post more tomorrow, but here's a teaser image…


    A Great Morning to be Outside at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    A Great Morning to be Outside at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2011

    It was cool and a little breezy this morning, and it felt so good to get up early and go see some "golden light!"  The Beast and I made our first trip to Circle B in several weeks.  Some ducks have settled in, but not as many as I seem to remember from last year.  The wading birds aren't as plentiful, either.  But there are tons of little birds!  I …Read More


    Circle B Sunrise

    Circle B Sunrise - November 2011

    A great sunrise from Circle B a few weeks ago…


    Calling All Birds and People to Circle B Photo Walks

    Calling All Birds and People to Circle B Photo Walks - November 2011

    Our Circle B Photo Walk schedule has been updated. The November walk was cancelled due to Thanksgiving. The December walk was moved to December 10. The songbird migrants have returned to Circle B for the winter, and the ducks are starting to arrive!  My dad and I invite you to join us for a walk around the reserve, and we'll show you our favorite birding locations and give you some …Read More


    Another One from Circle B

    Another One from Circle B - November 2011

    A Queen butterfly posed for me last weekend at the Circle B Bar Reserve.


    Hello, Zorro!

    Hello, Zorro! - November 2011

    This Common Yellowthroat posed for me recently at Circle B.  I like to call these guys "Zorro" because of their black masks.  They are some of my favorite winter visitors.


    Happy Halloween!

    Happy Halloween! - October 2011

    I was photographing the sunrise at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge back in September when I noticed this spider.  His web was suspended between branches, and the background was the bright orange reflections of the sunrise in the water.  I deliberately underexposed to bring out the colors in the background and to render the spider as a silhouette.  Then I bracketed for HDR.  Then I kept it waiting for Halloween!  …Read More


    The Sun Finally Came out at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    The Sun Finally Came out at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2011

    After a long weekend of rain, the morning started out cloudy at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I set up The Beast on the Heron Hideout trail and positioned myself in the flight path of the Bald Eagles who were flying in circles over the marsh, retrieving nesting material and taking it back to their tree by the lake. I dialed in exposure compensation and used my flash with Better …Read More


    Turtle

    Turtle - October 2011

    I got in trouble with my turtle-loving husband when I didn't post the picture of the turtle that I took at Circle B on Saturday. So here's the turtle. Isn't he cute? He looks like he's going sliding on the water.


    I Love This Time of Year at Circle B!

    I Love This Time of Year at Circle B! - October 2011

    I spent Sunday morning with The Beast at the Circle B Bar Reserve. It was hard to decide whether to head out to the marsh to catch the Bald Eagles flying with nesting material, or head to the lake to see the bobcat. The cloudless skies and great morning light made me decide on the marsh. I didn't get many views of the eagles, but I did enjoy the time …Read More


    Winter Birds are Returning to the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Winter Birds are Returning to the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2011

    Yesterday (Saturday) was the October photo hike at the Circle B Bar Reserve. My dad and I led three enthusiastic birders around the trails at the reserve. Last year our walks were big and we had a wide variety of birding/photography skill levels. This year our walks have been very small, and today's group of experienced birders was a treat. We hiked the Heron Hideout trail, Marsh Rabbit Run trail, …Read More


    Tip for Photographing Little Birds in Leafy Trees

    Tip for Photographing Little Birds in Leafy Trees - October 2011

    I photographed this White-Eyed Vireo this weekend on the Alligator Alley trail of the Circle B Bar Reserve. I used fill flash to illuminate him deep within a tree. I recently started training myself to use a new technique for focusing on these little birds who love to flit in and out of small trees. Using autofocus can be challenging, as the camera often chooses the leaf or branch in …Read More


    Even Common Birds are Pretty

    Even Common Birds are Pretty - October 2011

    I photographed this juvenile Red-Winged Blackbird at the Circle B Bar Reserve this weekend. It was a cloudy morning, so I was glad to have my flash with me. I really like how his brown tones contrast with the green vegetation and purple flowers around him.


    Cuckoo Pose

    Cuckoo Pose - October 2011

    I forgot to post the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo picture in my blog post Cuckoos Chasing Cuckoos from this weekend. Oops! So here's the bird that caused several photographers to follow him up and down the Marsh Rabbit Run trail. He likes to bury himself in trees with lots of leaves, so I was very surprised when he hopped out onto a dead tree and posed for a few seconds. Too bad …Read More


    Welcome Back, Palm Warblers

    Welcome Back, Palm Warblers - October 2011

    The Palm Warblers have been back for several weeks now, but between rainy weather and work, this weekend was my first opportunity to take a decent photograph of one. This one was hopping around in a tree on the Marsh Rabbit Run trail at the Circle B Bar Reserve. It's such fun to hear the calls of the little birds on the trails again.


    Cloudy Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Cloudy Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2011

    I think the weather forecasters were a little overly optimistic this morning when they predicted "partly sunny" for 8am. I called it "mostly cloudy!" I was glad that I didn't go to the Circle B Bar Reserve for sunrise, because there wasn't one. The light levels were pretty low all morning. But it was great to see friends, and there is always something to see at Circle B. The American …Read More


    Races and Bobcats at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Races and Bobcats at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2011

    Dyeyo and I were excited to go to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning after all the good birds that I saw there yesterday.  Until we saw the clouds.  And the runners.  There were hundreds of people gathered this morning to run a 5K race right up and down the trails.  Dyeyo and I spotted a Sora before the race began, but the runners scared it off.  It was …Read More


    Cuckoos Chasing Cuckoos at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Cuckoos Chasing Cuckoos at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2011

    It was a gorgeous morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  The temperatures were cool, there was a little breeze, and the winter birds are coming back.  The Belted Kingfishers were posed on the power lines at the entrance to the reserve, and within a few minutes of parking, I'd located my first of fall (FOF) House Wren, Eastern Phoebe, and Gray Catbirds.  The reserve was chirping with the sound …Read More


    Eyes on You

    Eyes on You - October 2011

    I photographed this Osprey at Fort De Soto park two weeks ago. I thought it was cool how he flew directly at the camera, with both eyes looking straight ahead. He dove several times for fish, but he went away empty-taloned.


    Happy Birthday!

    Happy Birthday! - October 2011

    Happy birthday to my favorite hummingbird enthusiast… :) I have another version of this shot that has a better head angle, but I like this one too because it shows how the bird was resting on the flower while he nectared. I guess if I zipped around as much as these little birds do, I'd be willing to rest on my feet sometimes too! Look at all the pollen on …Read More


    Three Generations

    Three Generations - October 2011

    The days are getting shorter and I'm getting home later and later…not a good combination for new "In the Backyard" shots. Luckily I still have some fun pictures from Circle B last weekend to share. I think it's supposed to rain most of the weekend. Sad news for photographers! This is a family of Common Moohens - I mean, Common Gallinules — from Circle B last week. I thought it …Read More


    Sunrise Clouds

    Sunrise Clouds - October 2011

    This is an HDR image of the sunrise at Circle B last Friday morning. I enjoyed photographing the light in the clouds until I saw the baby Limpkins emerge. That distracted me until after the sun was high in the sky! :)


    One For Rich

    One For Rich - October 2011

    I've been hearing complaints about the lack of turtle posts. So here's a turtle from the Circle B Bar Reserve this weekend!


    Soaring into the Sunrise

    Soaring into the Sunrise - October 2011

    Last Friday morning the sunrise at Circle B was very cloudy and not particularly interesting, so the Beast and I focused on the flying birds and making silhouettes. I tried to catch the birds as they had interesting wing angles and as they flew against the orangey colors of the sunrise. Then in Photoshop, I used the Levels tool to color the birds black and to lighten the sky to …Read More


    "Sunrise" Skyway and Fort De Soto Birds

    "Sunrise" Skyway and Fort De Soto Birds - October 2011

    The best colors of sunrise are often about half an hour before sunrise, and this morning the colors were totally worth the early wake-up call and two-hour drive to Fort De Soto!  I arrived around 6:45 and made my way to East Beach, where the sun was just starting to show itself on the horizon.  The orange colors in the sky were amazing.  I played with my 24-70 and my …Read More


    Redstarts and Warblers and Buntings, Oh My!

    Redstarts and Warblers and Buntings, Oh My! - October 2011

    The cold front moved through and brought not only cooler temperatures, but lots of migrant birds!  I spent a very nice morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve with Dyeyo.  We chased lots of little birds and ended up with a pretty good migrant count, including an Indigo Bunting!! :) We hiked the Heron Hideout trail, Marsh Rabbit Run trail, and Wading Bird Way trail this morning.  We hadn't been …Read More


    Another Morning at the Circle B Water Slide

    Another Morning at the Circle B Water Slide - September 2011

    I spent my off-Friday morning with the baby Limpkins at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I headed out to the Wading Bird Way trail at sunrise.  There were too many clouds for an impressive sunrise, but as I watched the light rising, I heard the baby Limpkins.  I watched and waited, and within fifteen minutes they had left the cover of their bushes and emerged onto the trail.  I spent …Read More


    Birds Grow up So Quickly!

    Birds Grow up So Quickly! - September 2011

    We had our first photo walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning.  It was a small group, but we had a nice walk.  We saw our first-of-fall Common Yellowthroats, and I'm pretty sure I heard several other warblers, but the mosquitoes were thick and we didn't linger to watch them.  We found the baby Limpkins out on the Wading Bird Way trail, and wow, they have gotten bigger!  …Read More


    Christmas in September?

    Christmas in September? - September 2011

    I'm looking forward to our first photo walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve tomorrow morning.  So here's yet another shot from a recent Circle B outing.  I took this from the Wading Bird Way trail at sunrise, on a morning when the sun shone through the fog and illuminated the marsh.  I love how the Wood Storks come back to Circle B at the end of the summer and …Read More


    Order Matters

    Order Matters - September 2011

    Lately I've been playing with Photomatix and HDR.  I went back to a sunrise panorama that I did at Lake Hancock at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  Each portion of the panorama was bracketed for HDR.  When I first processed it with Photoshop, I did the HDR on each frame individually, taking care to apply the same settings to each frame.  When I stitched them together as a panorama, the …Read More


    Mum-mum’s Favorite Troublemakers

    Mum-mum’s Favorite Troublemakers - September 2011

    I was photographing hummingbirds at my parents' house a few weekends ago when this House Sparrow posed nicely on the fence for me.  I thought she was pretty, and she had a nice green background.  Mum-mum has tons of House Sparrows visiting Missy's Diner these days.  They clean out her feeders every evening.  But we try to like all birds, even the common ones!


    Twins?

    Twins? - September 2011

    Lots of people at the Circle B Bar Reserve this weekend commented that the famous baby Limpkins look a lot like baby Sandhill Cranes.  They do!  The colors are different, but the size, beak size, and general shapes of the babies are quite similar.  I hunted up some Sandhill colt pictures from April to compare… The babies are my favorites to photograph!!! :)


    HDR Tip

    HDR Tip - September 2011

    This sunrise HDR image was created at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Saturday morning.  I had already taken so many shots of the sunrise and the sun was pretty high in the sky.  But before I switched to the Beast for bird shots, I took one final shot of the sun and surrounding clouds.  I wasn't sure if I would like it without any land in the picture to …Read More


    Awesome Morning with the Baby Limpkins at CBBR

    Awesome Morning with the Baby Limpkins at CBBR - September 2011

    I had an awesome morning yesterday (Saturday) at the Circle B Bar Reserve with my dad and Michael Libbe.  We had a great sunrise and then spent some quality time with the baby Limpkins on the Wading Bird Way trail. :) The sunrise was beautiful.  We arrived on Wading Bird Way about 10 minutes before sunrise, and we stood watching as the sun peeked out over the tops of the …Read More


    Expect the Unexpected at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Expect the Unexpected at the Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2011

    I went to the Circle B Bar Reserve yesterday (Friday) in hopes of a gorgeous sunrise with sun beams bursting through the clouds and reflecting over Lake Hancock.  I came home with images of a fireball and baby Limpkins!  Such is a morning at CBBR.  You never know what you'll find out there. I arrived about half an hour before sunrise, and I headed down to Lake Hancock.  As I …Read More


    Into the Rising Sun

    Into the Rising Sun - September 2011

    Work interfered with photography on this off-Friday, but I did manage to get to Circle B for a few hours this morning. I won't have my full blog post ready till tomorrow, so here's a teaser image of a flock of Blue-Winged Teals at sunrise over Lake Hancock. They are my first Blue-Winged Teals of the fall. Migration is so exciting, and a fireball sunrise is an added bonus! :) …Read More


    Fun with HDR

    Fun with HDR - September 2011

    Long after the sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Sunday, I noticed a single cloud high in the sky that still had sunrise coloration to it. I thought it was pretty, and I took some bracketed shots for HDR. I didn't realize how vibrant the colors would turn out! HDR can be quite fun. :)


    Early Migrants at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Early Migrants at the Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2011

    You know that the hot summer is coming to a close at the Circle B Bar Reserve when you start seeing the first Pied-Billed Grebes on the Wading Bird Way trail.  Although grebes are year-round residents in Polk, I don't seem to see them until the very end of summer.  The same goes for the Caspian Terns.  So it was exciting to see both yesterday at the reserve.  The winter …Read More


    Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2011

    This morning the sunrise made up for the icky cloudy day yesterday.  I arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve well before sunrise.  Unfortunately I arrived at the Wading Bird Way trail about 15 minutes too late to photograph the setting moon, which was beautiful as I watched it driving across I-4.  But I did arrive with plenty of time to watch the sun as it began to peek up …Read More


    Photographers Flock Back to Circle B Bar Reserve

    Photographers Flock Back to Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2011

    The temperatures were a bit cooler at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning, and the photographers and the migrant birds alike have begun to return to the reserve.  Dyeyo and I hiked the Marsh Rabbit Run trail, Wading Bird Way trail, and Alligator Alley trail this morning in search of migrant warblers.  Unfortunately, the cloudy morning was not conducive to good birding or photography.  We did find a Prairie …Read More


    Quiet Morning at MINWR

    Quiet Morning at MINWR - September 2011

    All week long, I've been seeing these amazing sunrises in the east.  The colors have been extraordinary.  Each morning, I've wanted to drive to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and photograph the sunrise over the water.  But instead I had to go to work.  :-p  Funny how work gets in the way of birding and photography! So on my off-Friday, I drove over to MINWR in the pre-dawn hours.  I …Read More


    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 6 – Waterfall!

    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 6 – Waterfall! - August 2011

    This is my last post about our Callaway Gardens vacation in Georgia this month.  We had a great time photographing hummingbirds, songbirds, warblers, butterflies, and turtles at the beautiful gardens in Pine Mountain (about a hour southwest of Atlanta).  But we stumbled upon my favorite photo from the whole trip rather unexpectedly.  It was mid-day, and I had my wide-angle lens on the camera while we hiked the various trails …Read More


    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 5 – Migrating Warblers!

    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 5 – Migrating Warblers! - August 2011

    The Beast was napping in his case when Rich and I were hiking in the Azalea Bowl at Callaway Gardens last week.  I had the wide-angle lens on the camera, somewhat disappointed at the meager number of birds that we'd managed to find on our vacation.  So I put on a warming filter and concentrated on making landscape images.  (Note: an APS-C sensor with its 1.6 crop factor does not …Read More


    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 4 – Butterflies!

    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 4 – Butterflies! - August 2011

    The Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens is one of the biggest open-air butterfly centers in the country.  Thousands of butterflies swirl around you as you walk through the conservatory, which features plenty of nectar plants and a waterfall.  In the lobby, you can watch chrysalides turn into butterflies.  Most of the butterflies are not the typical butterflies you would see in a Southeastern garden.  Some of my favorites are …Read More


    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 3 – Birds!

    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 3 – Birds! - August 2011

    My favorite place at Callaway Gardens is Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden.  On our first visit, Rich wanted to check out the veges, and I thought I'd be totally bored.  But it was quite the opposite.  There are tons of birds in the garden.  In fact, it is a certified Backyard Habitat.  It's not just vegetables, either.  They plant flowers in the garden, too, including a Trial Garden for new varieties …Read More


    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 2 – Turtles!

    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 2 – Turtles! - August 2011

    Rich's favorite part of our Callaway Gardens vacations is seeing the many turtles in the lakes.  The two best places to see turtles are in the lake right outside the Discovery Center, and at the little pavilion by Mockingbird Lake.  We also saw them sunning themselves on a log in the middle of Hummingbird Lake several times in the late afternoon, prompting Rich to unofficially change the name of the …Read More


    Callaway Gardens Vacation:  Part 1 – Hummers!!

    Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 1 – Hummers!! - August 2011

    Rich and I recently went up to Callaway Gardens for a few days.  Callaway is about an hour southwest of Atlanta, so about a seven-hour drive from Orlando.  The gardens are a great place to relax.  We enjoy hiking during the day (for Rich) and photographing at sunrise and sunset (for me).  Rich realized there's another advantage to having a smartphone: you can fit lots of books onto the phone, …Read More


    Alligator Farm Winning Photo!!

    Alligator Farm Winning Photo!! - August 2011

    I got some good news a few days ago…one of my pictures was selected as a winner in the St. Augustine Alligator Farm annual photo contest! I received a letter about a week ago, but they didn't tell me at that time which was my winning photo (I submitted several). So I had to wait until they updated their webpage to see which picture won. I was a little surprised …Read More


    Sunrise HDR

    Sunrise HDR - August 2011

    The weather has been so hot that I've been spending less time outside and more time playing with post-processing. I've rediscovered HDR recently when I began experimenting with Photomatix Pro instead of Photoshop for HDR. I'd always read that Photoshop wasn't quite as good, and now I'm starting to see why. Here's my HDR image of a sunrise at Circle B from this past weekend. And here are the three …Read More


    Slow motion: Turtles

    Slow motion: Turtles - August 2011

    Friends often ask why our website is called "catandturtle" when most of my photographs are of birds. Well, I've always been a cat lover, and Rich has grown up with an obsession for turtles. Actually, it was our cat Goldilocks who started watching birds, and got us interested in them… So when I come back from photographing, Rich always asks if I've seen any turtles. Too often I have to …Read More


    First of Season Warblers at CBBR!

    First of Season Warblers at CBBR! - August 2011

    How are kitten care and warbler photography alike? Neither subject will stay still! This morning I enjoyed an off-Friday sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I saw my first warblers of the season!  Two Yellow Warblers and one Prairie Warbler spent a pleasant 15 minutes posing for me in the top of a tree on the Marsh Rabbit Run trail.  I know shorebird migration has been underway for about …Read More


    Herman Found His Cuckoo!

    Herman Found His Cuckoo! - August 2011

    …except he went looking for a bird called a cuckoo, not a cuckoo photographer! He posted this picture of me with The Beast that is getting some chuckles on Flickr. Check it out! Show-Off - Hand-holding the Beast


    Quiet Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Quiet Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - August 2011

    Herman made me go back to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning after he posted a picture of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Flickr.  I took the Beast and set up in front of the Morning Glory vines where he saw the bird.  I waited about a half hour, but no hummers came.  So I took a picture of where the hummer should have been! (Note:  Someone else stood watching …Read More


    Yellow-Billed Cuckoo on Marsh Rabbit Run!

    Yellow-Billed Cuckoo on Marsh Rabbit Run! - August 2011

    The Marsh Rabbit Run trail was finally re-opened!  I went to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning and found my very first Yellow-Billed Cuckoo!  I couldn't believe it when he flew into a tree right over my head.  He was on Marsh Rabbit Run, about halfway down the trail.  It felt so good to be back on that trail! The water levels are low and there were not a …Read More


    “Mobile Home” Gets Recognition

    “Mobile Home” Gets Recognition - August 2011

    My image "Mobile Home" was honored on Flickr in the Florida Outdoors July photo contest for "Cutest Baby Bird." Thanks to Jamie for judging (and for selecting my shot!) Now I get to choose the topic and judge the August contest. The Internet certainly is cool for connecting with people and sharing photography.


    The Eagle has Landed at CBBR

    The Eagle has Landed at CBBR - July 2011

    The Bald Eagle has returned to his nest on the sandhill at the Circle B Bar Reserve!  I was very happy to hear him and then confirm that he was sitting just above the nest. It's been almost a month since Dyeyo and I went to Circle B, so we were both excited to get back there today.  We arrived at 6:30 and headed to the Wading Bird Way trail …Read More


    A Morning of Firsts at the Click Ponds

    A Morning of Firsts at the Click Ponds - July 2011

    I saw several birds for the first time this morning at the Click Ponds: two Wilson's Phalaropes, Black Terns, Stilt Sandpipers, and a Semipalmated Sandpiper.  It was a fun morning to be out! I arrived at the Click Ponds (across from Viera Wetlands) just after sunrise.  The Click Ponds have all but dried up and now have "gone green."  It's so strange to see grass growing where the water is …Read More


    Surprise!  Another New Bird

    Surprise! Another New Bird - July 2011

    I was going through my photos from Viera Wetlands from last Friday again when I realized that I had a new bird. At first I assumed this bird was a Least Sandpiper, but it was too big. In the uncropped image a Least Sandpiper was in front of this guy, and the Least Sandpiper is significantly smaller. So I started trying to identify my new bird, and I think I …Read More


    Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary

    Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary - July 2011

    The Black Skimmer colony that I posted about yesterday is at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a non-profit bird hospital. I enjoyed walking around and seeing the birds that are under treatment there. They have so many pelicans! Black-Crowned Night Herons hung around all over, offering nice photo ops. When you walk out to the beach, there are birds everywhere. There's the skimmer colony, but the skimmers are just some of …Read More


    You’ve Come a Long Way, Babies!

    You’ve Come a Long Way, Babies! - July 2011

    I stopped at Indian Rocks Beach to visit the Black Skimmer colony yesterday after my morning at Fort De Soto.  It was 10:15 by the time I got there, so the light was already pretty harsh, but I couldn't resist the temptation to see the little chicks all grown up.  As a reminder, here's what they looked like back in mid-June… Here's what they look like now! The babies are …Read More


    Early Fall Migrants at Fort De Soto

    Early Fall Migrants at Fort De Soto - July 2011

    Rich says I must have lost my marbles.  I got up at 4:45 this morning and drove to St. Pete in order to search for Marbled Godwits.  It's been a few months since I've gone to the beach, and I was in the mood for some nice shorebird photography.  It's funny that after photographing lots of birds around the state for the past few years, I still haven't seen some …Read More


    Productive Morning at the Viera Click Ponds

    Productive Morning at the Viera Click Ponds - July 2011

    After hearing on Birdbrains about the early fall migrants at Viera Wetlands, I had to make a trip over there.  The wetlands itself was very unproductive, with not even the Purple Gallinules showing themselves to me.  No Black-bellied Whistling Ducks greeted me, either.  But over in the Click Ponds, there was a ton of activity.  It was the first time I'd seen American Avocets, and they are really cool.  Black-necked …Read More


    Preview:  American Avocets at Viera Wetlands!

    Preview: American Avocets at Viera Wetlands! - July 2011

    I spent my off-Friday morning at Viera Wetlands, excited by the Birdbrains reports of American Avocets and pharalopes and baby Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. Of those three, all I found were the avocets. This was my first opportunity to see and photograph American Avocets. Here's a teaser picture, with a full post to come tomorrow…


    Nesting Season Winds Down at Polk Rookery

    Nesting Season Winds Down at Polk Rookery - July 2011

    Today Herman took Dyeyo and me for one last boat ride in the Polk Rookery.  The nesting season has all but ended.  Most of the birds have left, leaving the islands very empty looking.  A few adults and fledglings were still perched at the top of the Brazilian Pepper, allowing for easier subject isolation.  It was supposed to be a very cloudy morning, but the sun surprised us with a …Read More


    Cute Babies at Viera Wetlands

    Cute Babies at Viera Wetlands - July 2011

    I went to Viera Wetlands on Saturday morning.  After all the rain on Friday, I wasn't optimistic about the light level (I actually didn't decide to make the drive until Saturday morning at 5am!)  There was virtually no sun till the very end of the morning, but the babies were cute and I was relatively pleased with my work from the morning.  I also had the pleasure of finally meeting …Read More


    The Importance of Camera Angle

    The Importance of Camera Angle - July 2011

    While shooting at the Viera Wetlands this weekend, I enjoyed watching some Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks landing on palm tree stumps. There was potential for beautiful background bokeh with the green trees in the distant background. At first I stood to photograph, which gave me this kind of picture: Then I realized that the background wasn't as creamy as I wanted. I knelt down and took the same shot again, and …Read More


    Expect the Unexpected at Viera Wetlands

    Expect the Unexpected at Viera Wetlands - July 2011

    Dyeyo and I went to Viera Wetlands this morning with hopes of finding some of the babies reported on Birdbrains, and maybe the Fulvous Whistling Duck that was photographed there yesterday.   It's summer, though, and I wasn't optimistic that we'd find much, especially since we don't get to Viera often and so are not as familiar with the area.  But I was pleasantly surprised.  Starting with the Least Bittern that …Read More


    Happy Fourth of July!

    Happy Fourth of July! -

    This is an older picture, but still one of my favorites.  I took it a few years ago at a raptor show, where they posed the Bald Eagle in front of a flag.  It's very appropriate for the Fourth.


    Baby Birds Take Flight at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Baby Birds Take Flight at Circle B Bar Reserve - July 2011

    It was a slow start to the morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I pulled up to the main gate at 6:30, hoping to catch the sunrise.  But the gate was closed!  All I could think was "I drove an hour to get here and it's closed!?!?"  As Dyeyo and I chatted about where to go instead, the security guy drove up and opened the gate.  :) We hiked …Read More


    Why Did the Purple Gallinule Cross the Trail at Circle B Bar Reserve?

    Why Did the Purple Gallinule Cross the Trail at Circle B Bar Reserve? - June 2011

    To see if the water level on the other side was higher!  It wasn't… I've never seen the water levels at Circle B Bar Reserve this low.  We hiked the Wading Bird Way trail this morning.  We got there at sunrise and got in two hours of photography before the rains drove us away.  It's a good thing that CBBR is getting some rain – it needs it very badly.  …Read More


    Cloudy Morning at the Alligator Farm

    Cloudy Morning at the Alligator Farm - June 2011

    After a sunrise with the Least Terns, Michael and I headed up to the Alligator Farm for another few hours of photographing.  For once I was happy that it was cloudy.  It kept the temperature cooler and let me take shots that are usually very backlit in the mornings. The rookery is definitely starting to wind down.  A lot of the birds have fledged, although there are still plenty of …Read More


    Somewhere over the Rainbow…Least Terns Fly!

    Somewhere over the Rainbow…Least Terns Fly! -

    I went back to the Least Tern Colony at Summer Haven this morning.  My friend Michael Libbe came with me, and we had high hopes for a sunny morning and nice close nests.  Instead we got fog, a slight drizzle, and not-so-cooperative birds.  The nests that were close to the edge of the roped-off area were not there this time.  Probably some of the chicks have fledged, and the birds …Read More


    A Fish Tale: Day 2 at the Black Skimmer Colony

    A Fish Tale: Day 2 at the Black Skimmer Colony - June 2011

    Seeing is believing…and yet who can believe that such tiny Black Skimmer chicks can swallow fish almost as big as they are? :) I went back to the Black Skimmer colony this morning.  After the incredible sunset last night, I knew not to expect great light angles on the colony this morning.  So I was happy when the sun went behind the clouds, providing nice gentle lighting conditions that allowed …Read More


    Black Skimmer Colony: Day 1

    Black Skimmer Colony: Day 1 - June 2011

    I love my off-Fridays!  Rich and I took advantage of our three-day weekend to drive out to Indian Shores, where there is a nesting colony of Black Skimmers.  The colony is located outside of the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a really neat non-profit bird hospital.  The sanctuary rehabilitates birds and releases them back into the wild.  We saw Screech Owls, a Redhead, several Roseate Spoonbills, and lots of Brown Pelicans.  Dyeyo …Read More


    Father’s Day at the Polk Rookery

    Father’s Day at the Polk Rookery - June 2011

    Dyeyo and I spent a nice Father's Day morning with Herman at his rookery in Polk County.  That's always such a fun place to go.  Herman's little portable boat is awesome for floating between the islands and observing the birds. We started the morning with a Least Bittern – what a way to start the day!  He was completely out from under cover, posing beautifully—for just a second!  Then as …Read More


    We Found Woody!

    We Found Woody! - June 2011

    Dyeyo and I have been going to Circle B together for over a year now, and for that whole time Dyeyo has been on a quest to see Red-Headed Woodpeckers.  But day after day goes by and Dyeyo still hasn't seen his "Woody." So for Father's Day, I asked Herman to recommend a place where I could take Dyeyo to find a Red-Headed Woodpecker.  Herman recommended a place called Chinsegut …Read More


    Tiny Stilts and Willets at Merritt Island NWR

    Tiny Stilts and Willets at Merritt Island NWR - June 2011

    This morning I was off to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) in search of baby Black-Necked Stilts.  I'd seen a very photographable nest there last weekend, and I was hoping to see chicks there today.  At first I was disappointed – the nest was deserted. But I drove around some more and found some little stilts.  Aren't they cute? I found these guys on East Gator Creek.  First I …Read More


    Cute Baby Birds at the Summer Haven Least Tern Colony are Totally Worth the Drive!

    Cute Baby Birds at the Summer Haven Least Tern Colony are Totally Worth the Drive! - June 2011

    Rich thought I was insane when I woke up at 4am on my off-Friday and drove up to St. Augustine.  He thought I was even crazier when he heard me describe how I lowered the tripod and lay flat on my stomach to photograph the birds.  But look at the results…. :-D The Least Terns come to nest at St. Augustine each year.  Last week I drove up to Matanzas …Read More


    A Preview of Coming Distractions…Summer Haven Tern Colony

    A Preview of Coming Distractions…Summer Haven Tern Colony - June 2011

    I found the Matanzas terns! They have moved south to Summer Haven. (Thanks Monique!) I spent a great morning at the colony this morning. I have so many fun pictures that I can't finish the post tonight, so here's a tease. Check back tomorrow for more!!


    A Squirrel-ly Anniversary Message

    A Squirrel-ly Anniversary Message - June 2011

    Dyeyo and I spotted these, um, friendly squirrels at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Saturday.  They made me chuckle and think of Rich's and my anniversary.  So here's an anniversary message from the squirrels… Keep your partner looking his best.  (I've never seen squirrels preening each others' tails!) Lend a hand at every opportunity. When life gets tough, stick together and help each other hold on. Be cute and …Read More


    Anniversary at Bok Tower Gardens

    Anniversary at Bok Tower Gardens -

    It's hard to believe that Rich and I have been married for seven years.  We were married at Bok Tower Gardens, so we decided to go back there today in honor of our anniversary.  Rich didn't mind that I brought The Beast along.  We saw lots of great baby birds. Since it's our anniversary, I'll be nice and post a turtle picture for Rich.  (He does remind me regularly that …Read More


    Hummers and Cuckoos at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Hummers and Cuckoos at the Circle B Bar Reserve - June 2011

    Yes, that's right, we saw a hummingbird at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning!  I didn't get a picture—those guys move fast!  I couldn't see it for long enough to tell what kind of hummer, either, although I assume it was a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  But it was most definitely a hummer!  Dyeyo and I saw him on the Alligator Alley trail just past the dock.  He flew across the …Read More


    Life on Stilts at MINWR

    Life on Stilts at MINWR - June 2011

    Can you imagine going through life with ridiculously long red legs? It's not often that I devote a Beyond The Backyard blog post exclusively to one bird.  But after spending the morning at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, I had a ton of great images of Black-Necked Stilts.  They are all over! I found a nest that was very close to the trail.  When I first arrived, one bird …Read More


    So Many Fence Posts, So Few Birds…

    So Many Fence Posts, So Few Birds… - June 2011

    After reading about how Joe Overstreet Road is such a great place for bird photography, I've been meaning to get there all winter.  But I didn't get the opportunity until this morning.  It wasn't exactly what I expected.  But I did end up with some fun pictures! I wanted to visit Joe Overstreet for Eastern Meadowlarks, Crested Caracara, Swallow-tailed Kites, and maybe even a Snail Kite.  It seems that the …Read More


    Can’t Get Enough Spoonbills

    Can’t Get Enough Spoonbills - June 2011

    Dina made me do it!  After seeing her Roseate Spoonbill shots, I had to go to Lowry Park Zoo for myself.  The spoonies have built a nest over the alligator exhibit, and there are three cute babies growing up in it.  The nest is unusually visible, making it very photographable.  Rich had been wanting to visit the zoo on our vacation, so we went! Here the adorable spoonies… I felt …Read More


    Sunset at Lake Eola

    Sunset at Lake Eola - May 2011

    We stopped by Lake Eola at sunset tonight to try some cityscape photography.  My favorite parts are the swan silhouettes in the foreground! :)


    Lessons from an Osprey

    Lessons from an Osprey -

    Rich and I went to Winter Park for dinner tonight, so I got some more time at the osprey nest.  It was more active tonight than the last time I went.  You know, you can learn a lot from a juvenile Osprey… First of all, when your mom arrives at the nest with a fish, grab it from her! Cover your food with your wings to make it harder for …Read More


    Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet

    Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet -

    I'd heard about a Least Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet.  It's the biggest in Florida, numbering up to 200 nests (and yay for Audubon's success in closing the beach to vehicles that were running over the nests and chicks!!) Since I was in the neighborhood this morning, I stopped by to check it out.  Except there wasn't much to see!  The nesting zone is up in the dunes, and it …Read More


    Birds and Babies Everywhere at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm

    Birds and Babies Everywhere at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm -

    I drove up to St. Augustine this morning to visit the St. Augustine Alligator farm rookery.  There are babies everywhere!  I didn't spend much time on flight shots today, instead concentrating on making good images of babies.  It's hard to do that, with all the sticks and branches and nesting material everywhere.  Next time I should try an extension tube to limit the depth of focus. I have a great …Read More


    I Finally Made it to the Winter Park Osprey Nest!

    I Finally Made it to the Winter Park Osprey Nest! - May 2011

    I've been drooling over pictures taken at this nest.  I finally asked Michael Libbe where it is and made the trip there myself.  The nest is on top of a platform on top of a telephone pole in downtown Winter Park, off Canton Ave.  The really great part is that there's a 4-story parking garage right across from the nest.  You drive to the top, park, and look out over …Read More


    Spoon-Feeding at the Polk Rookery

    Spoon-Feeding at the Polk Rookery - May 2011

    Herman took my dad and me out in his boat again this morning.  The Polk Rookery has changed considerably since my last visit in March.  Then the birds were building their nests, and Great Egrets, Wood Storks dominated the Brazilian Pepper.  Today the rookery was filled with fledgling birds of all sorts: Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Tricolored Herons, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Black-Crowned Night Herons, White Ibis, Brown Pelicans, …Read More


    Knock, Knock! Goes the Pileated Woodpecker at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Knock, Knock! Goes the Pileated Woodpecker at the Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2011

    It was a good morning for baby birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I spent about an hour watching the Osprey nest on the Heron Hideout trail.  Then I moved on to the Alligator Alley trail, where I photographed the Red-Shouldered Hawk Nest.  The Northern Parulas taunted me but didn't let me see them.  Then Dennis showed me the best nest of the morning: there's a Pileated Woodpecker on …Read More


    Something Different — Fractalius

    Something Different — Fractalius - May 2011

    I downloaded the Fractalius Photoshop filter this afternoon.  It's fun!  It works by finding fractals inside your image.  You control how the image looks by dragging sliders to vary the line size, diffusion, and a bunch of other factors.  For some of these pictures, I blended the Fractalius output with the original image.  For others, the most dramatic effect was to leave the Fractalius output alone.  (The wavy lines in …Read More


    Summer Heat Begins at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Summer Heat Begins at the Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2011

    It was hot this morning!  We arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve at 7:00 and hiked the Alligator Alley trail loop.  This Great Blue Heron was trying to cool himself with the funky wing position – he wasn't the only one who was hot! We checked on the Great Crested Flycatcher nest by the Nature Center.  A very tolerant flycatcher let us get pretty close to him as he …Read More


    Of Drunken Sailors and Crab Legs (Fort De Soto)

    Of Drunken Sailors and Crab Legs (Fort De Soto) - May 2011

    After a long week at work, I was itching for a photography adventure.  So I got up at 4 on Saturday morning and drove to Fort De Soto for sunrise.  But I did have a great morning at North Beach, enjoying especially the antics of the Reddish Egrets.  They are too funny! I arrived just as the sun was peeking over the horizon.  I resisted the temptation to photograph the …Read More


    Turtles from the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Turtles from the Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2011

    Every afternoon when I get home from the Circle B Bar Reserve, Rich pounces on me and asks for pictures of turtles.  Usually I haven't seen many, or gotten great photo ops of the ones that I do see.  So this weekend when I came across a small turtle making its way across the Heron Hideout trail, Rich decided that this turtle deserved his own post.  After all, the site …Read More


    Bobolink-less Morning at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Bobolink-less Morning at Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2011

    Dyeyo and I went to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning in search of Bobolinks.  These migratory birds can only be found at Circle B for a couple of weeks a year, in the spring during their migration back north.  Various people on the Circle B Flickr page have seen Bobolinks, and Dyeyo found a whole flock of them last year, but I've never seen one.  Unfortunately the fog …Read More


    Incredible Morning at the Alligator Farm Rookery

    Incredible Morning at the Alligator Farm Rookery -

    I drove up to St. Augustine to spend my off-Friday at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm's bird rookery.  It's right at peak season and the rookery, and the activity is awesome!  Some Great Egrets are still building nests, others have tiny babies, and still more have fledglings who know how to leave the nest but still haven't figured out how to feed themselves.  Likewise, the Snowy Egrets and Tricolored Herons …Read More


    St. Augustine Alligator Farm…A Preview of Coming Distractions!

    St. Augustine Alligator Farm…A Preview of Coming Distractions! - May 2011

    I spent the morning at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm photographing the baby birds at the rookery.  There are chicks of all kinds now, and the rookery is bursting with activity.  The baby birds are not altogether unlike humans.  For example, these two Snowy Egret chicks clearly weren't seeing eye-to-eye on who should get to eat breakfast first… More pictures coming tomorrow!


    Mothers and Babies at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Mothers and Babies at the Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2011

    Happy Mother's Day!  Dyeyo and I spent a few hours at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning before going to spend some time with my mom.  It seemed appropriate that we saw a bunch of baby birds with their moms today.  :) We hiked the Alligator Alley loop this morning, starting just after sunrise.  Dyeyo had to try out his new lens on the hawk's nest that is very …Read More


    More Baby Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    More Baby Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve - April 2011

    This morning started out slow at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  We're getting into the time of year when there are fewer birds at the reserve, and you don't get as many great photo ops as you do during the winter.  But I find that the baby birds are just as fun to photograph as the migrants…if you know where to look to find them! :) We started out just …Read More


    Sunrise at Fort De Soto

    Sunrise at Fort De Soto - April 2011

    Rich came with me to Fort De Soto for sunrise this morning.  He can't remember the last time he watched the sun rise!  We went to East Beach to see the sun come up over the Sunshine Skyway.  Then we went the North Beach lagoon, then we found the famous mulberry trees.  It was a slow day for migrants—we saw only an Indigo Bunting, a Black-Throated Blue Warbler, and a …Read More


    Sunset at Fort De Soto

    Sunset at Fort De Soto - April 2011

    Rich and I visited Fort De Soto for sunset this evening.  It was fun to share the park with Rich, who's never shared my early-morning zeal for sunrises and golden-light bird photography.  It was also the first time I'd been to Fort De Soto in the afternoon.  We headed to East Beach first, where the light was finally right to photograph the shorebirds at the turnaround.  Then we went up …Read More


    Spring Morning at Viera Wetlands

    Spring Morning at Viera Wetlands - April 2011

    Dyeyo and I couldn't take it anymore.  People on the Birdbrains mailing list have been going on and on this week about all the birds at Viera Wetlands.  So we drove out there this morning to see all the birds.  It was a beautiful sunny, slightly breezy morning, and it was awesome to be outside with the birds.  Except we didn't find as many birds as had been reported!  Oh …Read More


    Circle B Says Goodbye to its Winter Migrants and Hello to the Summer Residents

    Circle B Says Goodbye to its Winter Migrants and Hello to the Summer Residents - April 2011

    I spent a quiet off-Friday morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning.  It's always a treat to be on the trails without the weekend crowds.  I started off on the Heron Hideout trail to say hello to the little Sandhill Crane, then I turned left onto the Alligator Alley trail and hiked that loop back to the Nature Center.  It was a nice breezy morning and it felt …Read More


    In Search of Babies at Circle B Bar Reserve

    In Search of Babies at Circle B Bar Reserve - April 2011

    Dyeyo and I went to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning on a quest to find baby birds.  The adorable Sandhill Crane colt that met us on the Heron Hideout trail was just the first.  We figured that the Barred Owlet had already fledged, so we headed out to Wading Bird Way in search of the Limpkin babies and Mottled Duck babies that someone mentioned to us.  We didn't …Read More


    Beautiful Morning at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

    Beautiful Morning at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - April 2011

    After hearing  time after time about how great the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is, Dyeyo decided that he wanted to go with me and see it.  It was a pretty foggy morning, but the sun burned off the fog just as we arrived at the refuge around 8:30.  The Birdbrains have been saying that the Peacocks Pocket drive has been fairly active, so we headed there first.  We found …Read More


    The Newest Celebrity at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    The Newest Celebrity at the Circle B Bar Reserve - April 2011

    This winter the American Bittern and the King Rail were the stars at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  This spring, the Sandhill Crane colt that frequents the Heron Hideout trail is quickly becoming the newest celebrity at the park. This morning I met Michael Libbe at sunrise and we found the Sandhill Crane family out in the grasses a few yards from the Heron Hideout trail.  Then they moved up …Read More


    First Trip of the Spring to the Alligator Farm Rookery

    First Trip of the Spring to the Alligator Farm Rookery - April 2011

    I couldn't take it any more…after seeing picture after picture on the new Alligator Farm Rookery blog, I had to make the trip up to St. Augustine! My best shot of the morning was this Roseate Spoonbill in flight.  He flew into the "sweet spot" of open sky with perfect sun, and the light glistening off his feathers made my jaw drop when I viewed the image in the camera.  …Read More


    Foggy but Interesting Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Foggy but Interesting Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2011

    Wow it was foggy this morning!  It was all clear as I left Orlando, but the fog started when I hit I-4, and the Polk Parkway was crazy with fog.  So I wasn't anticipating seeing too much this morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I'm glad I was wrong!  We saw tons of birds. The Red-Winged Blackbirds must be beginning to nest.  The males are displaying and calling from …Read More


    March Photo Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    March Photo Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2011

    Today my dad and I led the final spring photo walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  We had a very foggy morning, and due to the closing of the Marsh Rabbit Run trail, we took the group on the Alligator Alley trail.  Between the fog and the reduced number of birds along Alligator Alley, I was worried that this would not be a very successful walk.  However, it turned …Read More


    Let’s Go Build a Nest! (Polk Rookery)

    Let’s Go Build a Nest! (Polk Rookery) - March 2011

    Our friend Herman took Dyeyo and me out on his little boat this morning to a rookery in Polk County.  It was so amazing!  Unlike the Gatorland Rookery and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery, this one is totally wild.  There were hundreds of birds there, most of them sporting their breeding plumages.  We saw Great Egrets, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Black-Crowned Night Herons, White Ibises, Great Blue Herons, Snowy …Read More


    Quiet Morning at Fort De Soto

    Quiet Morning at Fort De Soto - March 2011

    I drove over to Fort De Soto on Saturday morning in hopes of finding some early migrant warblers.  There have also been a Reddish Egret in full breeding plumage and a Long-Billed Curlew hanging out at the North Beach lagoon.  I had high hopes of some good photography, but unfortunately, it was a pretty quiet morning. When I first arrived, I was on the lookout for the eagle's nest that's …Read More


    Sunset Bobcat at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sunset Bobcat at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2011

    I went over to the Circle B Bar Reserve after work today to catch the sunset.  The good news?  I saw the bobcat for the first time ever!!  The bad news?  The Marsh Rabbit Run trail is now closed because the alligators are very active.  There's a freaky sequence of pictures on the Circle B Flickr site showing a heron stealing a baby alligator and the mother gator following the …Read More


    Frogs and Snakes for Breakfast at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Frogs and Snakes for Breakfast at the Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2011

    I spent my off-Friday morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I arrived at 6:30, about 20 minutes before sunrise.  I hiked down to Lake Hancock and was on the dock for the sunrise.  It was pretty cloudy this morning, so the sun was a little late peeking out from behind the clouds.  It was pretty though.  I spent some time photographing birds flying over the lake, then hiked the …Read More


    Turtle!

    Turtle! - March 2011

    Rich gets annoyed at me for not posting more pictures of turtles.  After all, our site is called "catandturtle" because I like cats and he likes turtles!  Then I did post a video of a turtle, but Rich refuses to watch it, because the turtle was being consumed by a Limpkin.  So here's a Rich-friendly turtle…


    February Photo Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

    February Photo Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve - February 2011

    This morning my dad and I led another Photo Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Circle B asked us to lead people around the preserve, showing them the best trails and places to find birds. Today we had about ten or so people meet us at 8:00 (remember, photographers have to be up early to catch the early birds getting their worms!) We walked the Heron Hideout and Marsh …Read More


    You Know it’s Springtime at Circle B Bar Reserve if…

    You Know it’s Springtime at Circle B Bar Reserve if… - February 2011

    You know it's springtime at Circle B Bar Reserve if you see the following: Trees are getting their leaves back Sandhill Cranes start sitting on nests! Baby eagles peek out to say hello People flock to the marsh to enjoy the warm weather The ducks head back home — see you next year! The birds start sporting their breeding colors Earlier sunrises! Male cardinals sing for their "wives! wives! wives!" …Read More


    Circle B Bar Reserve Woodpecker

    Circle B Bar Reserve Woodpecker - February 2011

    I forgot to post a video that I took yesterday at the Circle B Bar Reserve. There is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker that lives in a dead tree at the "Four Corners" intersection. He often poses, showing off his bright red feathers in the sunshine. Yesterday he was working on his cavity, drilling away at it. I hope he's thinking about having a brood of babies to fill it! It's a …Read More


    Finally!  I Photographed a Painted Bunting at the Circle B Bar Reserve!

    Finally! I Photographed a Painted Bunting at the Circle B Bar Reserve! - February 2011

    I had a nice walk this morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. It's always great to go there to unwind after a long week. This morning I hiked the Alligator Alley trail in search of small birds, then I walked up Marsh Rabbit Run and up Wading Bird Way around to the Eagle Roost trail, where I observed the eagle's nest. So the big question of the day…is there …Read More


    Spring is in the Air at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Spring is in the Air at the Circle B Bar Reserve - February 2011

      It's amazing how different a place can look after two weeks.  The weather kept me from Circle B last weekend, and I think it's driven a lot of the birds away too.  The ponds that used to be covered in American Coots and American Wigeons were virtually empty.  Not an American White Pelican did we see.  I counted a lone Wood Stork.  Only the Sandhill Cranes roosted as usual, …Read More


    Blue-Headed Vireo at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Blue-Headed Vireo at Circle B Bar Reserve - February 2011

    Ever since Cole Fredericks, a noted birdwatcher in Central Florida, commented in the Circle B Flickr species list discussion that the list was missing Orange-Crowned Warblers and Blue-Headed Vireos, I've been on the lookout for those birds. Last week I got the Orange-Crowned Warbler. I've gone up and down Alligator Alley several times in search of the vireo, but not seen it. So imagine my surprise when I flipped through …Read More


    History of a Pelican

    History of a Pelican - February 2011

    A few weeks ago, I took a short video of a group of American White Pelicans feeding at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I thought it was cool because you could see them tossing fish in their mouths, and see the fish bulging out of their pouches as they ate. When I got home, I noticed that at least one (maybe two?) of the birds had green markings on their …Read More


    Baby Eaglets!

    Baby Eaglets! - February 2011

    I drove over to Greenwood Cemetery on Saturday to peek at the eagle nest in a pine tree there.  I wasn't the only photographer who spent the morning at Circle B and took a side trip to the cemetery on the way home! The baby eagles are bigger than they were two weeks ago.  They weren't very active while I was there on Saturday, but the babies did stick their …Read More


    My First Orange-Crowned Warbler at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    My First Orange-Crowned Warbler at the Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2011

    It was an incredibly foggy morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I could barely make out the car in front of me as I drove in. But it turned out to be a great day for little birds. We saw a ton of warblers: Orange-Crowned, Black-and-White, Palm, Prairie, Yellow-Throated, Yellow-Rumped, Common Yellowthroat, and several Ruby-Crowned Kinglets. Overall I saw over 50 species, not bad for a foggy day!! Dyeyo …Read More


    Hoodies at the Circle B Bar Reserve!

    Hoodies at the Circle B Bar Reserve! - January 2011

    Dyeyo and I were at the Circle B Bar Reserve at dawn this morning. It was a bit chilly at first, but it felt so great to be outside! The fog obscured the sunrise a bit, which turned out to be good, since I got this picture as a result: We hiked the Heron Hideout trail, then took Marsh Rabbit Run out to Wading Bird Way. There were tons of …Read More


    Lions and Bitterns and Rails, Oh My!   Circle B Bar Reserve Never Disappoints

    Lions and Bitterns and Rails, Oh My! Circle B Bar Reserve Never Disappoints - January 2011

    A group of photographers met at the Circle B Bar Reserve for sunrise this morning. We had a blast. Circle B really is a photographer's playground at this time of year! Dyeyo and I parked at the parking lot at the Circle B entrance, then took the Windmill Whisper trail out to Wading Bird Way. The southern half of Wading Bird Way is my second favorite sunrise spot in the …Read More


    The Bird Paparazzi Grows at Circle B Bar Reserve

    The Bird Paparazzi Grows at Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2011

    There were TONS of people at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning! Despite the chilly and breezy weather, over a hundred birders were out to enjoy the morning. Dyeyo and I decided to hike along Alligator Alley to look for Orange-Crowned Warblers and Blue-Headed Vireos. We hoped for a nice sunrise over the lake, too, but it was so overcast that the sun stayed behind the clouds for a …Read More


    Circle B Sunset in HDR Panorama

    Circle B Sunset in HDR Panorama - January 2011

    Last Saturday's sunset at Circle B was so colorful! I took bracketed exposures for HDR, then after I created the HDR images, I stitched them together into a panorama using Photoshop.  Now I have a "virtual window" for my cubicle…


    King Rail at Sunset at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    King Rail at Sunset at the Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2011

    I saw my first-ever King Rail at the Circle B Reserve tonight. I went for a sunset walk before the Lake Region Audubon Society meeting, where Fred Bassett gave an excellent talk about hummingbirds that winter in Florida. There were plenty of people out to enjoy the sunset, including a nice couple of saw me watching the rail and then asked, "Are there any bitterns around? That would be a …Read More


    Bittern-ly Chilly Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Bittern-ly Chilly Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2011

    Bitterns were the highlight this morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I arrived at sunrise, and the cloudcover was much greater than the weatherman's "Mostly Sunny" forecast. The sun shone on the landscape for about fifteen minutes, then it went behind clouds for most of the "golden light hour." I didn't hike as much as usual, opting instead to stalk specific birds, especially the Sora on Heron Hideout and …Read More


    Baby Eagle!!

    Baby Eagle!! -

    Thanks to Michael Libbe, who told me that there is a nest of Bald Eagles at the Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando with tiny babies inside!  Rich and I stopped at the cemetery on a trip to Colonial Photo and Hobby.  I heard the babies before I saw them, and I had to wait for one of them to pop its head over the side of the nest.  My picture isn't …Read More


    Another Great Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Another Great Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2011

    Dyeyo and I tried something a little different this morning.  We arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve about fifteen minutes before sunrise, and we parked in the lot right at the entrance to the reserve.  Then we hiked out to Wading Bird Way on the Windmill Whisper trail.  We got to the crossroads right at sunrise. I enjoy doing HDR at sunrise because of all the varying tones.  The …Read More


    Circle B Bar Reserve: the Photographer’s Playground!

    Circle B Bar Reserve: the Photographer’s Playground! - January 2011

    My dad and I had a great time this morning doing a "photo hike" at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  We'd like to say thanks to the dozen or so brave people who came out early at 8:00 and braved the winds to see the birds.  We enjoyed the time, and we hope that everybody else did too.  Our group ranged in age from about 8 (hi Savannah!) to retirement …Read More


    Sunrise over Lake Hancock at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sunrise over Lake Hancock at the Circle B Bar Reserve -

    We scheduled this morning's photo hike to start at 8, recognizing that that was early for most people.  But for me, that's late!  I arrived at Circle B at around 6:45 and hiked down to the lake to meet the sunrise.  I was happy to see that the lake wasn't all stinky with decaying fish (I was concerned that there was a fish kill with last week's cold weather.) As …Read More


    Tips for Photographing Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Tips for Photographing Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve -

    Join Us for a Nature Hike at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  Bring your DSLR, your point-and-shoot, or just yourself, and join us for a morning's walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve. My dad and I will share some of our favorite birding locations and photography tips. Meet outside the Nature Discovery Center on Saturday, January 8, at 8:00am so that we catch the early birds! All ages and …Read More


    Bitterns Saying Hello at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Bitterns Saying Hello at Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2011

    I headed to the Circle B Bar Reserve on my off-Friday determined to remember to check the eagle's nest next to the Nature Center.  I always seem to forget to walk over and check it on my way out! As I arrived at the nest, I saw one Bald Eagle sitting on it.  Another eagle was perched in a nearby tree.  I got a few shots before the bird on …Read More


    A Circle B HDR Example

    A Circle B HDR Example - January 2011

    I've been enjoying have the HDR capabilities of Photoshop CS5.  I'm no expert in HDR, and I'm learning how to adjust the controls so that the pictures look good.  I don't try for the over-the-top color effects of some HDR photos, but instead just enjoy the additional dynamic range and color tones that make my pictures "pop."  Here's an HDR that I took a week or so ago at Circle …Read More


    Lots of People Enjoying the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Lots of People Enjoying the Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2010

    Lots of people decided say goodbye to 2010 with a visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I've never seen so many people there in a morning.  It was fun to finally meet Herman and a bunch of people from the Circle B Flickr group. I took "The Beast" and had a fun time getting used to my new focal length.  I can now photograph and identify birds that I …Read More


    Frosty Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Frosty Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2010

    It was probably not a good morning to be a bird at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  The temperature was around 28 when I arrived at 7:30 in the morning.  The ground was covered in frost.  Skies normally covered in American White Pelicans were empty.  But it was pretty in an eerie way, and by mid-morning, the frost was gone and the birds were back. I enjoyed experimenting with HDR …Read More


    Diving Hoodies at Viera Wetlands

    Diving Hoodies at Viera Wetlands - December 2010

    Dyeyo and I drove over to Viera Wetlands in search of the Ross's Goose that has been reported there on the BirdBrainz list serve.   We didn't see the goose, but we did see a group of happy, diving Hooded Mergansers.  It was the first time either of us had seen a female Hoodie (we don't typically see mergansers at the Circle B Bar Reserve where we normally bird.) We got …Read More


    Cold Sunset at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Cold Sunset at Oakland Nature Preserve - December 2010

    I couldn't resist the itch to try out my 500mm lens any more!  It was pretty windy today, so rather than going to Circle B, Rich and I went up to Oakland Nature Preserve at sunset. Maybe I'm just very spoiled by Circle B, but Oakland doesn't seem to have as many birds as it used to.  We used to see dozens of Ospreys sitting high in the trees, usually …Read More


    A Circle B Christmas

    A Circle B Christmas - December 2010

    Santa arrived early at the Circle B Bar Reserve today, bringing  plenty of insects and nuts for the birds for Christmas.  His reindeer are not fond of Florida weather, so the American White Pelicans volunteered to help him fly his sleigh! Santa cartoon courtesy of  Microsoft Office Clipart


    Skies Full of American White Pelicans at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Skies Full of American White Pelicans at the Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2010

    The skies of the Circle B Bar Reserve were covered in American White Pelicans this morning.  We arrived at sunrise and stayed till about 11:30.  During that whole time, wave after wave of pelicans flew in.  They must be powered by Energizer…they just keep coming, and coming, and coming! This morning we walked up Heron Hideout, Marsh Rabbit Run, Wading Bird Way, then doubled back and took the Shady Oak …Read More


    Beautiful Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Beautiful Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2010

    It was a gorgeous morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  We arrived at 7:00, just before sunrise, and the birds put on an amazing wake-up show.  The hundreds of Wood Storks and Sand Hill Cranes that roost in the marsh overnight all woke up and flew away, nicely illuminated by the rising sun.  They shared the skies with hundreds of American White Pelicans, flying towards their roosting site on …Read More


    Circle B Sunset Cranes

    Circle B Sunset Cranes - December 2010

    On Thursday afternoon I took two fun pictures at Circle B: one of Sandhill Cranes flying against the sunset sky, and another of the sunset landscape.  Then I combined the two pictures in Photoshop Elements.  I think the composition is fun…as long as I admit to the Photoshopping! Here are the two original images:


    Snow Geese at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

    Snow Geese at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge - December 2010

    Dyeyo and I continued our bird-watching safari.  After we saw the Snow Bunting in Palm Coast, we went to Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Rufuge, where several Snow Geese have been reported there over the last week or so.  They were there!  They usually don't come to Florida.  There was a mix of white morph adults and juveniles, and one juvenile blue morph. Dyeyo and I really liked Lake Woodruff.  It …Read More


    Snow Bunting! at Palm Coast Waterfront Park

    Snow Bunting! at Palm Coast Waterfront Park -

    Dyeyo and I planned a bird-watching "safari" trip for today.  Our first stop was the Palm Coast Waterfront Park where a tiny Snow Bunting has been hanging out for the last couple of weeks.  This bird nests in the Arctic and migrates to the New England latitudes.  Only about twenty have been documented as far south as Florida.   This little guy has an injured tail and cannot fly long …Read More


    What’s Going On Up There?

    What’s Going On Up There? - December 2010

    There were plenty of birds in the skies this afternoon at the Circle B Bar Reserve! I got there around 3:30 and hiked Heron Hideout, Marsh Rabbit Run, and Wading Bird Way.  The American White Pelicans are back and roosting on the water at Wading Bird Way!  Yay! When I first arrived, the skies above the parking lot were filled with Turkey Vultures.  There had to have been at least …Read More


    In Search of Hooded Mergansers…

    In Search of Hooded Mergansers… - December 2010

    A recent Birdbrain post indicated that there were about 20 Hooded Mergansers in a small pond outside a Perkins restaurant at the intersection of Conroy-Windermere Road and Apopka Vineland Road in Orlando. So Rich and I stopped there this morning after we dropped his folks off at the airport. There were no Hoodies this morning but I had a fun 15 minutes photographing the other birds that were there. The …Read More


    Cranes and Pelicans and a Circle B Sunset

    Cranes and Pelicans and a Circle B Sunset - December 2010

    Dyeyo and I went for a quick walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve this afternoon. I've been wanting to photograph one of our spectacular golden sunsets that we've been having lately, but tonight's wasn't like that. It was pretty, though. I waited for the sun to start going behind a cloud, then took this picture. I should have added a split neutral density filter. So I used Lightroom to …Read More


    Sunny Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sunny Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2010

    My in-laws are visiting this weekend, and Rich and I took them for a walk to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. We were welcomed by some Killdeer on the Heron Hideout trail. This is my first sharp Killdeer picture, and I was excited to get it. :) A hawk was watching us from the "treasure tree" as we headed up Heron Hideout. We had fun watching an alligator …Read More


    Chased by an Otter at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Chased by an Otter at the Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2010

    I've been called the Birdie Paparazzi. But today I was the one being followed! An otter came bounding up the path after me at least twice. He was cute! This morning I decided to hike Alligator Alley, since it was foggy and I felt like taking sunrise pictures. It's also been a while since I've walked that way and I wanted to see what birds are around these days. The …Read More


    Do Coots get Cooties?

    Do Coots get Cooties? - November 2010

    I had some fun pictures of the American Coots at the Circle B Bar Reserve this Sunday. So here's a special coot-only post… I caught the coot below flapping his wings as he reached into the water for a breakfast bite. Look at those big white feet! I always have to laugh when I see coots' feet. Too bad the plant on the water surface hides the reflection of the …Read More


    Skies Filled with Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Skies Filled with Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2010

    I found the birds! Last Monday I was disappointed to visit the Circle B Bar Reserve and find practically no birds in the skies. Today was quite the opposite! The morning was cool and bright — a nice change from yesterday's cloudy gloom! I walked out on Heron Hideout and immediately saw my first flock of American Robins for the season. (I thought I heard them a few weeks ago, …Read More


    A New Place to Explore: Viera Wetlands

    A New Place to Explore: Viera Wetlands - November 2010

    I've heard birders mention Viera Wetlands so often that I had to get over there to see it for myself. It reminds me of Circle B Bar Reserve in that it is a local wetlands area with great birds — and unlike Circle B, which is so dry right now, this wetlands had plenty of water and there were plenty of birds as a result! I saw my first-ever Hooded …Read More


    Beautiful Morning at Fort De Soto

    Beautiful Morning at Fort De Soto - November 2010

    Dyeyo and I visited Fort De Soto this morning. After my last trip there in September, I was looking forward to beaches covered in birds. But the North Beach was almost totally empty! We ran into a nice couple from England who have been vacationing at De Soto for the last month. They said that they had never seen the beaches so empty. The occasional bird would fly by as …Read More


    Where are all the birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve?

    Where are all the birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve? - November 2010

    Relatively speaking, there were very few birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. Usually we are greeted by flocks of White Ibis and Wood Storks flying over Heron Hideout. We see Osprey and various wading birds flying overhead. Lately a bunch of Roseate Spoonbills have been filling the marshes with pink. Today there were very few birds in the skies. A couple of the regulars were there — …Read More


    Breezy Morning at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Breezy Morning at Oakland Nature Preserve - November 2010

    We decided to postpone our usual Circle B Bar Reserve trip for a day, since the weather forecast called for a cloudy day with lots of wind. But when I woke up this morning, it was surprisingly sunny, and just a little breezy. So Rich and I headed to Oakland Nature Preserve to see if the feeders were out for Painted Buntings this year. (Nope.) Oakland Nature Preserve used to …Read More


    Seeing is Believing: There Really are Otters at the Circle B Bar Reserve!

    Seeing is Believing: There Really are Otters at the Circle B Bar Reserve! - November 2010

    I've been going to the Circle B Bar Reserve at least once a week since June, and plenty of times before that, and I've never seen a River Otter. Dyeyo's seen them plenty of times. Well, I finally got to see one today! There were otters running up and down Marsh Rabbit Run all morning. The best photo ops were when they surfaced with fish. Then we heard lots of …Read More


    What’s so Great about Morning Light?

    What’s so Great about Morning Light? - November 2010

    I've had some people asking me why I get up at the crack of dawn to go to Circle B. The answer is "to get there during the great morning light." So what's so great about morning light? Compare and contrast the following two pictures. Both feature a Greater Yellowlegs, taken yesterday morning on Heron Hideout, from the same angle. One was taken around 7 in the morning (sunrise was …Read More


    More Winter Birds Have Arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    More Winter Birds Have Arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2010

    I spent my off-Friday morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I heard my first American Goldfinch of the season! I never saw it, but the call is unmistakable. Heron Hideout is definitely a great place to be at sunrise these days. The water levels in the marsh are extremely low, so the birds congregate on the right side of the trail, right in the great morning light. This morning …Read More


    MFC Spirit Photography Contest Entry

    MFC Spirit Photography Contest Entry - November 2010

    Our MFC Spirit magazine at work is having another photography contest and so I am entering a picture of the famous Circle B Sandhill Crane colt. I'm posting it here so that I can download it easily at work…


    Windy Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Windy Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2010

    Hundreds of White Ibis took to the air this morning over the Circle B Bar Reserve. The cold and the wind kept most of the birds under cover, but the White Ibises seemed to know how to navigate despite the gusts. On Heron Hideout, the marsh on the left is completely dry, and it seems surreal. We need a good rain to get the water level back to normal. I …Read More


    Sunset and Symphony Concert at Bok Tower Gardens

    Sunset and Symphony Concert at Bok Tower Gardens - November 2010

    Rich and I went to the Sunset and Symphony concert at Bok Tower Gardens tonight. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra played a bunch of fun music, including "Harry's Wondrous World" from Harry Potter, "The Sound of Music", and a medley from "Fiddler on the Roof." It was really cold out (for Florida) and we were happy that we'd bundled up and taken a blanket. The Gardens was really well prepared for …Read More


    Happy Hallo-wren at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Happy Hallo-wren at the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2010

    Apparently the "Water, Wings, and Wild Things" event yesterday spooked a lot of the birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve…but the wrens stuck around and celebrated Halloween with us! The marshes were fairly quiet this morning, but there were plenty of little bids for patient photographers… We started off walking to the far end of Heron Hideout, where it turns into the Eagle Roost trail. Dyeyo had good luck …Read More


    Lots of Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Lots of Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2010

    There were Eastern Phoebes everywhere at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. Plus a whole lot of other birds… After Al and several other people saw a Cuckoo during this past week, we headed out to see if we could find it too. Al also reports that the river otters are back along the Alligator Alley trail. So we headed out the Marsh Rabbit Run trail, circled back around …Read More


    Bald Eagles and Teleconverter Magnification

    Bald Eagles and Teleconverter Magnification - October 2010

    I've often wondered how the image quality would be if Dyeyo and I were to stack our teleconverters. I got the opportunity to do an experiment yesterday at the Circle B Bar Reserve. We had seen an adult Bald Eagle flying over the marsh several times, and it finally settled in a treetop all the way across the marsh. I used Live View to refine the focus on my tripod-mounted …Read More


    The Coots have Returned to the Circle B Bar Reserve

    The Coots have Returned to the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2010

    Things are certainly picking up at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Besides seeing the first American Coots of the season, this morning we saw a juvenile Bald Eagle doing some nice close fly-bys, three Roseate Spoonbills, and plenty of Gray Catbirds and Eastern Phoebes. Last night when we left at sunset, we said good night to the Sand Hill Cranes, who were already on one leg and starting to fall …Read More


    Our First Afternoon Visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Our First Afternoon Visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2010

    Dyeyo and I made an unusual late-afternoon trip to the Circle B Bar Reserve today, hoping to get some fun sunset shots. It was strange to be there in the afternoon instead of the early morning. The differences in lighting almost made it feel like a totally new place. When we first got out to Heron Hideout, we were greeted by this Gray Catbird, who posed pretty on a nice …Read More


    Fill Flash in the Outdoors

    Fill Flash in the Outdoors - October 2010

    Somebody asked me this weekend why I bother to use flash outside. After all, the sun is up and there's plenty of light, right? What I explained is that fill flash can be useful, even outside in bright sunlight. For one thing, bright sunlight tends to create harsh shadows, and a bit of fill flash can lighten those up. Flash can also illuminate a bird high in a tree:


    Lots of Little Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Lots of Little Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2010

    A month ago I was ecstatic to see a warbler at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Today I nonchalantly dismissed one as "just another Palm Warbler." How quickly do the birding times change!! This morning's hike took us up Heron Hideout and out Marsh Rabbit Run. We spent most the time chasing the little guys. Dyeyo was determined to get a good Common Yellowthroat shot, and the House Wrens teased …Read More


    Peaceful Morning at Bok Tower

    Peaceful Morning at Bok Tower - October 2010

    Rich and I decided to go birding at Bok Tower this morning. It's been a while since we've gone there, and Rich says it's starting to be cool enough to go birding with me again. :) There were tons of birds! We couldn't turn around without turning into a Gray Catbird. "Maaaw! Maaa! Go home and feed your gray cat!" they kept calling to us. Jays, Brown Thrashers, and Eastern …Read More


    A Perfect Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    A Perfect Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - October 2010

    The weather was cool, the sunrise was awesome, the birds were out, and there was a breeze! I couldn't imagine a more perfect morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve. There was a Tricolored Heron in his usual place, fishing where the water flows under the trail. He looked great in the morning light. The Palm Warblers are definitely back in full force! We enjoyed watching several of them hopping …Read More


    The Whistler Flight School is pleased to announce the opening of Marsh Rabbit Run!!

    The Whistler Flight School is pleased to announce the opening of Marsh Rabbit Run!! - September 2010

    Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve is magical. Maybe because two mornings are never alike. This morning, we were hiking on Heron Hideout when suddenly about twenty Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks took to the air around us. Calling back and forth to each other with their sweet distinctive whistle, the birds flew round and round over our heads. There were a few orange-beaked adults, but most of the crowd were …Read More


    Circle B Migrants

    Circle B Migrants - September 2010

    I felt like playing with Photoshop today, so I made another warbler and migrant bird collage. These little birds are usually high in the oak canopies, and it's hard to get great pictures of them. They also hop around really fast. You come home with a stiff neck and then squint at your pictures, asking "is there really a bird in there?" So this is combination of a bunch of …Read More


    Quiet morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Quiet morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2010

    The sky was clear and the winds were northeast and there were not many migrants at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. It was a bit cooler, though, and a walk through the marsh at dawn is always pleasant. Thankfully I didn't see any alligators, either! I started out on Heron Hideout and checked for the little family of Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks. Actually there are several families, on both …Read More


    Activity Starting to Pick up at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Activity Starting to Pick up at the Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2010

    I keep running into photographers at the Circle B Bar Reserve who complain that nothing is happening. They remember the thousands of pelicans and myriad of other species seen last November through April. There isn't as much activity now, but there's still plenty to photograph, especially if you know where to look! The plan this morning was to get to Circle B early enough to walk around to Wading Bird …Read More


    Quiet Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Quiet Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2010

    The Circle B Bar Reserve is my favorite place to be at dawn. The landscape is so beautiful with the sun just peeking out over it, and the critters all waking up to a new day. We were treated to an early-morning view of the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck family. They are usually not out until later in the day. It's fun to watch how the adults take care of their …Read More


    Is it possible for a bird to be too close to the photographer?

    Is it possible for a bird to be too close to the photographer? - September 2010

    Yesterday at Circle B, Dyeyo and I said that it will be nice when we can go back on the Marsh Rabbit Run trail, where the trees are not as tall and it is easier to get good pictures of warblers. Then Dyeyo teased that a warbler ought to hop down onto my camera lens and pose for him…and thereby inspired this Photoshop joke!


    Fort De Soto Panorama

    Fort De Soto Panorama - September 2010

    I stitched together some pictures from yesterday's trip to Fort De Soto and made a panorama: I also took a little video of the biggest flock of gulls and sandpipers. It's fun to hear the waves and the calls of the birds.


    There are warblers at the Circle B Bar Reserve…if you know where to look!

    There are warblers at the Circle B Bar Reserve…if you know where to look! -

    Dyeyo and I enjoyed a nice walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning.  It's a time of year when finding birds is very hit-or-miss.   We felt like we hit the bull's eye with several sightings of migrating warblers. We got to Circle B at sunrise, and as we admired the freshly mowed (and widened!) Shady Oak trail, the rising sun illuminated a flock of Wild Turkeys with great …Read More


    My First Trip to Fort De Soto

    My First Trip to Fort De Soto - September 2010

    After hearing about Fort De Soto from birders all over the state, I finally drove over there to check it out. It was everything that people said, and better! I'm not all that familiar with the shorebirds. Before I went today, I couldn't tell a sandpiper from a plover — and hopefully some of the identities I looked up today will stick for more than a day! I think all …Read More


    Quiet Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Quiet Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - September 2010

    Gotta love off-Fridays. I went to Circle B this morning to check on the fall migration status. It was a pretty quiet morning. Walking on Heron Hideout out towards Alligator Alley, I enjoyed watching some Glossy Ibises fly over. I got some decent flight shots. Next time I should turn on the fill flash. I saw more Double-Crested Cormorants than I have in months. Lots of them were doing fly-bys …Read More


    More Migrants at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    More Migrants at the Circle B Bar Reserve - August 2010

    We were so excited by the migratory birds that we saw yesterday at the Circle B Bar Reserve that we just had to go back this morning. I was hoping to get better pictures of the migrating warblers, in non-foggy light.  But the marshes were very quiet this morning.  We saw two American Redstarts by the dock on Lake Hancock.  Those were the only warblers we saw all morning. Since …Read More


    Migrants Making their Way to Circle B

    Migrants Making their Way to Circle B - August 2010

    It was a cloudy, foggy, and humid morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  As we headed out Heron Hideout into more and more fog, we doubted that we would see much.  But it turned out to be our most productive species morning in several months.  The migratory birds are definitely making their way back to Circle B! We started out on Heron Hideout, where we basically observed fog.  It …Read More


    Black-Bellied Whistling Ducklings at the Circle B Bar Reserve!

    Black-Bellied Whistling Ducklings at the Circle B Bar Reserve! - August 2010

    Dyeyo and I spent another great morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve today.  We went with hopes of seeing some migratory warblers or wading birds.  Dyeyo did see a Northern Parula, but our major excitements today were the Yellow-Crowned Night Warbler and the baby Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks! The sunrise was slow this morning.  Dyeyo and I are used to getting to Circle B at 6:30 am, and these days, …Read More


    Summer Birding Map – Circle B Bar Reserve

    Summer Birding Map – Circle B Bar Reserve - August 2010

    I've been meaning to make a map of the best birding spots at the Circle B Bar Reserve. The best places vary with season, of course, so this is primarily a summertime map.   Click on the picture below for a bigger version. We're really looking forward to the re-opening of the Marsh Rabbit Run trail, which is where we typically see the most birds.


    Rainy Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Rainy Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - August 2010

    Finally!  We got some rain!  Although it cut our morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve a little short, it also kept our hike cooler than usual.  And boy did we need the rain! The morning started out darker than usual, due to the cloudcover.  We took the Shady Oak trail and got all the way out to Lake Hancock before sunrise.  We were rewarded by a fun sunrise. I …Read More


    Another Hot Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Another Hot Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - July 2010

    Dyeyo and I spent a fun, but hot, morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve today. We got there just before sunrise, and watching the sun come up over Lake Hancock was spectacular.  Then the sun went behind some clouds.  We saw a juvenile Green Heron down at the start of the Alligator Alley trail, but since the sun wasn't really out, the pictures weren't great.  Nor did I get …Read More


    Lots of Green Herons at the Circle B Bar Reserve this Morning

    Lots of Green Herons at the Circle B Bar Reserve this Morning - July 2010

    It's amazing how every day at the Circle B Bar Reserve is a little bit different.  Last week we saw lots of juvenile Great-Crested Flycatchers.  Today we didn't see a single one, but we saw five Green Herons (and we usually see one of those per visit at most).  Nature's fun with all its surprises. We arrived in the middle of a beautiful sunrise.  It's only first thing in the …Read More


    One More Gatorland Photo Contest Decision…

    Another beautiful morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Another beautiful morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve - July 2010

    Dyeyo and I arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve at 6:30 am to enjoy a nice warm morning of birding! The sunrise over Lake Hancock was gorgeous.  Since our favorite Marsh Rabbit Run trail is closed, we took the Alligator Alley trail instead.  The breeze down by the lake felt wonderful as we enjoyed the great morning light. We saw the two owls in their usual tree, but I …Read More


    Gatorland Photo Contest Candidates

    Fledglings are Starting to Leave Gatorland’s Bird Rookery

    Fledglings are Starting to Leave Gatorland’s Bird Rookery - July 2010

    The nesting season at Gatorland's Rookery is starting to come to a close.  While there are still nests under incubation, and some nests have tiny babies, the majority of the babies have fledged, and they spend their time hopping around in the tops of the tallest trees they can find. The rookery was strangely quiet this morning as the sun rose.  I guess the fledglings are starting to figure out …Read More


    Cloudy, Breezy Days are Great for Bird-Watching at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery

    Cloudy, Breezy Days are Great for Bird-Watching at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery - July 2010

    This morning was cloudy, breezy, and great for getting outside! The birds at Gatorland's Bird Rookery took longer to wake up, probably because the sun wasn't shining as brightly as usual. The rookery was eerily quiet when I first got there, and then the babies started fussing as soon as the sun started to break through the clouds. As I arrived at the rookery, I saw the fledgling Swallow-tailed Kites …Read More


    Birds and Babies and Alligators, Oh my!

    Birds and Babies and Alligators, Oh my! - June 2010

    Dyeyo and I enjoyed our hike around the Circle B Bar Reserve again this morning.  We saw our usual assortment of birds and babies, plus a few surprises… The Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks continue to make Circle B their summer home.  Their calls can be heard all over the marshes at all hours of the morning.  We suspect they are nesting in the marshes not too far from Heron Hideout.  Hopefully …Read More


    The Gatorland Rookery is Covered in Fledging Birds

    The Gatorland Rookery is Covered in Fledging Birds - June 2010

    The Gatorland Rookery is crawling with birds these days.  Fledglings seem to have appeared out of nowhere — all those hidden nests are empty now and their occupants are getting as high in the tree branches as they can.  It was amusing to see the rows of fledglings along the boardwalk, fences, and observation tower as I arrived this morning. There is a nest near the North Gazebo that started …Read More


    How to Eat a Fish (if you’re an Anhinga)

    How to Eat a Fish (if you’re an Anhinga) - June 2010

    Dyeyo got an extra Father's Day gift today when this Anhinga posed for us at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  The Anhinga surfaced with a catfish and proceeded to eat it, to the delight of the Birdie Paparazzi!  (Hey, Squirt, it's a catfish!) So if you've never swallowed a fish whole before, here's how to do it: First you have to spear the fish.  This includes a nice dive into …Read More


    Baby Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Baby Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve -

    The beautiful sunrise this morning was just the start of a happy Father's Day hike with Dyeyo at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  We saw lots of baby birds!   Sand Hill Cranes, Purple Gallinules, Common Moorhens, Grackles and Red-Winged Blackbirds, a Red-Bellied Woodpecker… The Black-necked Stilt babies that we have been watching for the past few weeks were nowhere to be seen this week (they've gotten big enough to have …Read More


    Editing Experiment

    Editing Experiment - June 2010

    I went to print one of my favorite rookery pictures from this spring, and it bothered me that the background clutter detracted so much from the portrait of the mother and baby Tricolored Heron.  I love the way the baby is peeking out from under Mama, but it was easy to miss him altogether in my original image. So I decided to break my "I don't use Photoshop to significantly …Read More


    “Lucky” the Double-Crested Cormorant

    “Lucky” the Double-Crested Cormorant - June 2010

    Birds grow up far too quickly at the Gatorland Bird Rookery.  This spring, one Double Crested Cormorant made her nest in a tree right next to the third level of the Observation Tower.  I was lucky enough to be there the day her eggs hatched, and then I returned week after week to photograph the nest.  There were three eggs in the clutch, but only one bird survived to fledge.  …Read More


    Magical Sunrise at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Magical Sunrise at Circle B Bar Reserve - June 2010

    The sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning was magnificent!  The drive over from Orlando was very very foggy, and as the sun rose and burned off the fog over the marsh, the light was just beautiful.  I looked over at a common bunch of grasses, illuminated by the sunrise.  The golden glow was gorgeous. There were dragonflies resting on top of the grasses.  I wish I had …Read More


    Lots of Bad Hair Days at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery

    Lots of Bad Hair Days at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery - June 2010

    Cattle Egrets were all over Gatorland's Bird Rookery this morning.  It was very hot, and there were only a handful of photographers there for Early Entry.  (Did everybody go to visit the baby spoonbills at St. Augustine?)  So I had the place virtually to myself.  As always, the birds put on a great show. There were baby Cattle Egrets all over the place.  There are all stages of nests; some …Read More


    Baby Roseate Spoonbills at the Alligator Farm

    Baby Roseate Spoonbills at the Alligator Farm - June 2010

    The St. Augustine Alligator Farm's bird rookery had a record-breaking four Roseate Spoonbill nests this spring.  Two sets of chicks hatched a few weeks ago, but they are not visible from the boardwalk.   The other two nests hatched last weekend, and the little guys are so cute! Dyeyo and I watched and waited for the babies to wake up, and we were rewarded for our patience by getting to …Read More


    HDR Experimentation at Circle B Bar Reserve at Sunrise

    HDR Experimentation at Circle B Bar Reserve at Sunrise - June 2010

    I've been reading a lot about High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.  Camera sensors are not capable of capturing as much dynamic range in an image as our eyes can see;  therefore, images lack the full range of tones.  HDR attempts to solve this problem by allowing you to combine images of different exposures in software, drawing out details that were not obvious in the original images. I've been curious to …Read More


    Slow Morning at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Slow Morning at Circle B Bar Reserve -

    Dyeyo and I went to the Circle B Bar Reserve at 6:30 this morning to enjoy the early morning light with our birds.  Unfortunately, the sun didn't really come up because it was so cloudy.  We still had a good time birding. The first bird we saw was this Little Blue Heron, who posed for us before the sun had really come up.  I tried fill flash and got some …Read More


    More fledglings at the Gatorland Bird Rookery

    More fledglings at the Gatorland Bird Rookery - June 2010

    My new baby bird of the week was the Little Blue Heron.  I've been watching a couple of nests for the past few weeks.  One nest in particular has changed hands between Tricolored Herons and Little Blue Herons several times. So today I finally noticed movement in the nest, and caught a glimpse of the tiny white baby inside.  The nest wall was high, and the baby was so small, …Read More


    Baby Birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Baby Birds at Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2010

    The peak bird migration is definitely past, and some would say that this is the "slow period" for birding at Circle B Bar Reserve. Dyeyo and I are finding that the babies popping up throughout the preserve still make our walks very rewarding! This morning we arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve at dawn (6:30) and headed out Heron Hideout. A family of Common Moorhens greeted us, and we …Read More


    Sunrise at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Sunrise at Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2010

    The increasingly hot temperatures drove Dyeyo and me to the Circle B Bar Reserve at 6:30 this morning, to allow us time for birding before the heat set in. I was amazed to see the marsh at sunrise. It was like a whole other world, with dewdrops glistening in the rising sun, and the grasses and trees giving off a friendly glow. The first birds to greet us were the …Read More


    Bird nesting continues at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery

    Bird nesting continues at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery - May 2010

    Just as the great egrets hatched back in March fledge, a new set of nests are under construction and more babies are on the way to Gatorland's Bird Rookery. The rookery is alive with birds, from nesting adults, fledging chicks learning to fly, and babies of all ages. I heard this cattle egret nest before I saw it. Each species has a particular baby "fuss" sound. I peeked down and …Read More


    Birdie Chaos at Gatorland’s Rookery

    Birdie Chaos at Gatorland’s Rookery - May 2010

    I returned to Gatorland's Bird Rookery this morning to check up on my baby birds.  They are getting so big!  The rookery is a cacophony of little voices, all begging for food. The great egret chicks are as big as their parents, but most of the chicks still haven't fledged. It's amusing to watch the big juveniles shoving their beaks up their mother's throat, like they did when they were …Read More


    Birding at Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

    Birding at Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area - May 2010

    Dyeyo and I felt like going to a new birding spot this morning, and we'd heard good things about the Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area in Lake County, so we drove up there to check it out. It made us realize just how spoiled we are by our Circle B Bar Reserve, which is close to home and offers us such close access to all kinds of birds.  Emeralda is more …Read More


    Still Plenty of Birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Still Plenty of Birds at Circle B Bar Reserve - May 2010

    It was very hot but very fun to be back at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. Dyeyo and I took a nice long hike and saw some neat birds. I saw my first Eastern Meadowlark! I'll wait until I have a better picture to post one, though. When we first arrived, we saw this Red-Shouldered Hawk sitting up in a tree on the Heron Hideout. Dyeyo clapped to …Read More


    Screaming chicks at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery

    Screaming chicks at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery - May 2010

    Today is an off Friday and so I spent the morning at Gatorland's Bird Rookery.  There are chicks all over the rookery now.  The Great Egret chicks are huge and you wonder when they will fledge.  There are baby tricolored herons and baby snowy egrets throughout the rookery.  The new sound of baby double-crested cormorants adds to the mix.  Only the cattle egrets and the little blue herons still sit …Read More


    Songbirds at Bok Tower Gardens

    Songbirds at Bok Tower Gardens - May 2010

    A rose-breasted grosbeak was recently seen at Bok Tower Gardens, so this morning Rich and I went to bird-watch at Bok.  We didn't see a grosbeak, but we did see some fun songbirds. The first bird we saw this morning was a male Eastern Towhee.  He was on the ground, rooting through the grass, digging for worms.   His call really does sound like the "Drink your tea!" mnemonic on our …Read More


    Spoonbills and baby birds at St. Augustine Rookery

    Spoonbills and baby birds at St. Augustine Rookery - May 2010

    After hearing about all the roosting roseate spoonbills at the St. Augustine Farm Bird Rookery, Dyeyo and I decided that it would be worth the three hour drive to go see the spoonbill nests. When you first enter the rookery, you are on a boardwalk in between several large oak trees.  In the tops of those trees, the wood storks have made their large nests.  A little farther down, the …Read More


    My Double-Crested Cormorant chick is growing up at Gatorland’s Rookery!

    My Double-Crested Cormorant chick is growing up at Gatorland’s Rookery! - May 2010

    I spent a few hours at the Gatorland Bird Rookery this morning before going into work.  I wanted to check on my little double-crested cormorant that I saw hatch five days ago.  As usual, I had a great time taking pictures of all the baby birds. :) As I walked in from the early entry gate, I went over to say good morning to the green heron chicks, who were …Read More


    Baby Birds Everywhere at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery

    Baby Birds Everywhere at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery - May 2010

    This morning I went back to the Gatorland Bird Rookery.  I was excited to see our baby tri-colored herons again.  I wasn't disappointed!   I saw three new species of babies today (green heron, double-crested cormorant, and common moorhen).  I even saw a double-crested cormorant hatch!  Very cool. :) When we were first going in the Early Entry gate, Mike directed us to a baby green heron nest.  We all stood …Read More


    Baby Birds at Gatorland Bird Rookery

    Baby Birds at Gatorland Bird Rookery - April 2010

    This morning Dyeyo and I went back to the Gatorland Rookery to see if some of the nests we saw two weeks ago had any babies yet. We were happily surprised to see how many babies there are in the rookery now. We saw five types of babies:  great egrets, anhingas, snowy egrets, tri-colored herons, and wood storks. Oh, and we also saw one very fussy grackle, who had made …Read More


    Callaway Gardens Trip – Spring 2010

    Callaway Gardens Trip – Spring 2010 - April 2010

    Rich and I decided to take a week off this spring to go to Callaway Gardens to see the azaleas.  With the cold winter and early spring rain, the bloom was supposed to be spectacular.  It's also very late - so the Callaway Azalea Watch was very helpful in planning our trip. The Mountain Creek Inn was full, so we ended up renting a cottage.  It was really nice.  We …Read More


    Bird-watching at Mead Gardens

    Bird-watching at Mead Gardens - April 2010

    I keep reading about people birding at Mead Gardens in Winter Park.  We went over there on a cloudy Sunday morning and were disappointed not to see a whole lot, probably because of the clouds (it rained most of the rest of the day, and the birds seem to be smart enough to know to stay in their nests!) What we did see:  a flock of cedar waxwings, several Carolina …Read More


    Gatorland Rookery

    Gatorland Rookery - April 2010

    After enjoying the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Bird Rookery, I looked for one closer to home and found the Gatorland Bird Rookery. Gatorland is of course known for its gators, but wild marsh birds regularly make their nests in the "alligator swamp" each spring. The alligators keep their natural predators away while the birds raise their young. During the breeding season, Gatorland offers photographers and birders the opportunity to …Read More


    Baby Sand Hill Crane!

    Baby Sand Hill Crane! - April 2010

    When Dyeyo called to say that he'd seen a baby sand hill crane hatch at the Circle B Bar Reserve, I was very jealous.  Then a few weeks later he reported seeing the new family at the same place several times in a row.  So I had to go and see if I could get some of my own pictures.  Lucky for me, they were there, and I got to …Read More


    Springtime at Bok Tower

    Springtime at Bok Tower - April 2010

    Last year Rich and I went to Bok Tower a few weeks after the azaleas bloomed, and I was mad to have missed the blooms.  So this year we went while the azaleas were in bloom.  They were pretty, but not as dramatic as what we expect to see at Callaway Gardens in a few weeks. The paths were so pretty lined with flowering bushes. Dyeyo, Rich, and I had …Read More


    All’s quiet at Oakland Nature Preserve

    All’s quiet at Oakland Nature Preserve - March 2010

    Rich and I went to Oakland Nature Preserve for the first time in over a year.  We were disappointed because we saw very few birds. Last year, Oakland Nature Preserve stopped putting out feeders for the painted buntings.  It's sad to go by the bird blind and not see any. :( The weather today was cloudy and kinda gross, which probably influenced the birds. Out on the board, we saw …Read More


    Little Birds Galore at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Little Birds Galore at Circle B Bar Reserve - March 2010

    The trees at the Circle B Bar Reserve were full of little birds today. The warblers are so cute.  This yellow rumped warbler wasn't sure about the crazy photographer underneath him. There were tons of warblers today (palm, pine, yellow-rumped, and common yellowthroats), but we didn't see or hear a single blue-gray gnatcatcher.  That was a big change.  The gnatcatchers have been very numerous in the preserve this winter. We …Read More


    Limpkins feasting on apple snails

    Limpkins feasting on apple snails - February 2010

    The recent freezing weather in Central FL had some devastating effects at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  Many of the fish died from the cold, leaving the entire place stinky and littered with dead animals.  Then the birds started to leave, probably because their food source was so greatly diminished.  So by today the smell was better, and we braved the chill to go visit the birds. All the herons, …Read More


    Cold Birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Cold Birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve - January 2010

    Dyeyo, Rich, and I were very cold birdwatchers at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning.  My wool hat from Pittsburgh came in handy! I saw my first limpkins on Wading Bird Way today.  Look at that long spear of a beak! The limpkins were fishing for their breakfasts as we watched.  This guy had his head down for a while, and he came up with his prey wrapped around …Read More


    Finally!  We saw our first scrub jay at Merritt Island Wildlife Reserve.

    Finally! We saw our first scrub jay at Merritt Island Wildlife Reserve. - December 2009

    Rich and I braved the cold winds this morning to go to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.  It's supposed to be very good for birding, but it also made us realize how spoiled we were with the Circle B Bar Reserve. We hiked the Scrub Jay trail.  The winds were very strong and at first we wondered if we'd been crazy to leave our warm beds at the crack of …Read More


    American White Pelicans Roosting at Circle B Bar Reserve

    American White Pelicans Roosting at Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2009

    The air was full of American White Pelicans at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. A huge flock of the pelicans is roosting on the lake at Wading Bird Way.  I took the camera and pointed straight at the sky as they flew overhead: It was cool to hear the "whoosh!" of all their wings as they flew right over our heads. The sun was out today and the …Read More


    Bird-watching at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Bird-watching at Circle B Bar Reserve - December 2009

    Now that Dyeyo, Rich, and I have discovered the Circle B Bar Reserve, we go there often.  Each time we go we see new birds and learn more about them.  It's such fun. The first bird we saw this time was one that I usually don't like to photograph, a black vulture.  There are tons of vultures just down the road from the Circle B entrance, near this little fishing …Read More


    Hummingbirds at Leu Gardens

    Hummingbirds at Leu Gardens - December 2009

    Rich and I took his parents to Leu Gardens while they were here in Florida.  Being turtle people, they were excited to see the turtles in the pond: I was more excited to see this female ruby-throated hummingbird nectaring.  It's late in the year to see hummers in Orlando.  I wasn't close enough, and there wasn't enough light, to get a really amazing picture.  But this picture clearly serves as …Read More


    Where are all the birds?

    Where are all the birds? - November 2009

    We're starting to see a few more birds in the yard, but not as many as usual, and no goldfinches yet. There have been a couple of new house finches (I think the darker red ones are migratory…I never see such bright red guys in the summertime), some brown-headed cowbirds and red-winged blackbirds, the yellow-throated warbler Bow Tie still visits pretty regularly, and then our regular doves and cardinals. I've …Read More


    Cloudy day at Circle B Bar Reserve

    Cloudy day at Circle B Bar Reserve -

    Dyeyo, Rich, and I were so excited about our last visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve, we carefully watched the weather to go back on the next sunny day.  But the weathermen deceived us, telling us that today would be sunny, and it was cloudy and foggy instead! Along the Shady Oak path, we came across this pileated woodpecker.  Dyeyo has seen a pileated in his backyard a couple …Read More


    Our first visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve

    Our first visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve - November 2009

    After hearing about the Circle B Bar Reserve from people in the Sierra Club, Dyeyo, Rich, and I decided that we needed to check it out.  Boy were we surprised!  People were not kidding when they said it is a wonderful place for birds.  It's a protected reserve in Polk County, and there are paths through the marshes.  The birds are used to people and the activity on the hiking …Read More


    Turtles! at Loggerhead Park

    Turtles! at Loggerhead Park - October 2009

    Dyeyo, Rich, and I visited Grandpa Dave in Juno Beach today.  We couldn't go so close to the Turtle Museum (officially named Loggerhead Park) without letting Rich get his turtle fix.


    Bird-watching at Bok Tower

    Bird-watching at Bok Tower - September 2009

    Rich and I went to Bok Tower this morning to do some bird-watching. The swans were posing in the pond around the tower, and I found that my new warming filter made for some wonderful pictures. I played with my filters as I took pictures of the tower.  I found that I was able to get a better exposure using split neutral density filters. This tufted titmouse was hanging out …Read More


    Fifth Anniversary – Callaway Gardens

    Fifth Anniversary – Callaway Gardens - June 2009

    Rich and I went to Callaway Gardens to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  We had a great time and saw a lot of fun butterflies and birds.


    Roses and Baby Birds at Leu Gardens

    Roses and Baby Birds at Leu Gardens - May 2009

    Rich and I went to Leu Gardens this morning to see roses and turtles. We were pleasantly surprised to see a Common Moorhen in the lake, with her baby nearby! The baby was fussing its head off (it reminded us of Squirt when he's hungry). We saw a juvenile cardinal, too. Nearby, Daddy Cardinal kept an eye on us and on his baby. As always, the roses at Leu Gardens …Read More


    Baby Birds at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Bird Rookery

    Baby Birds at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Bird Rookery - May 2009

    I read about the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in a photography magazine. It's an alligator farm, but wild marsh birds regularly make their nests in the "alligator swamp" each spring. The alligators keep their natural predators away while they raise their young. So Rich and I drove up to St. Augustine to take some pictures…and found we weren't the only ones who made the trip! There were some other birds …Read More


    Springtime at Bok Tower Gardens

    Springtime at Bok Tower Gardens - March 2009

    This morning we went to Bok Tower. Supposedly the hummingbirds are starting to migrate back, but we didn't see any. The swans sure posed for us though!


    Brevard Zoo Raptors Show

    Brevard Zoo Raptors Show - January 2009

    This picture seemed appropriate for Inauguration Day. It was taken this weekend at the Brevard Zoo Raptors Exhibit, which was incredible.


    A winter ramble around Bok Tower Gardens

    A winter ramble around Bok Tower Gardens - January 2009

    Bok Tower is one of my favorite places to go. The gardens are beautiful, the wildlife is fun to watch, and the trip is a nice escape from the real world. Today we saw hummingbirds! They are wintering at Bok Tower! The swans were posing, and I had fun playing with my new diffuser filter. I also had fun playing with my new split neutral density filters. I really liked …Read More


    Hummers wintering at Bok Tower

    Hummers wintering at Bok Tower - January 2009

    Rich and I went to Bok Tower this morning. The swans swam right up to us and let me take some cool pictures, but we didn't really see too many other birds. We heard some exciting sounds though - there are definitely some hummingbirds wintering at Bok Tower, even if we didn't see them!


    Winter Birding at Callaway Gardens

    Winter Birding at Callaway Gardens - November 2008

    We went to Callaway Gardens to see the Fantasy in Lights display, but during the day, we had a great time walking around the gardens. There are so many birds at Callaway! The Callaway Birds of Prey show is fun. They pick three of about ten of their birds to display during each show, and they let the birds fly (sometimes right over the spectators' heads!). It's interesting to hear …Read More


    Callaway Gardens – Fantasy in Lights

    Callaway Gardens – Fantasy in Lights -

    Rich and I went to Callaway Gardens this week to see the Fantasy in Lights display. The gardens are decorated with Christmas-theme lights, complete with music and a "sleigh ride" (behind Snowflake, the imaginary reindeer!) What's so amazing about the lights is that they are virtually hidden during the day. Nutcracker and Toy Soldiers Santa's Workshop Animals of Callaway Magic of the Seasons This exhibit was new, and probably our …Read More


    Painted buntings at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Painted buntings at Oakland Nature Preserve - November 2008

    This morning we went to Oakland Nature Preserve and saw our first Painted Bunting of the season. It's nice to have them back…now if only we could tempt them to our yard!


    Bok Tower hummingbirds photographed in better light

    Bok Tower hummingbirds photographed in better light - October 2008

    After seeing hummingbirds at Bok Tower last week, but not getting any really good pictures because of the cloudy day, we resolved to go back today when it was sunny and try again. The hummingbirds that we're seeing at Bok are all males, which complements my set of females from Callaway Gardens nicely. Rich patiently waited with my by a clump of red flowers until this guy appeared. On one …Read More


    Hummingbirds at Bok Tower!

    Hummingbirds at Bok Tower! - October 2008

    Today was a great day for migrating birds at Bok Tower. We were walking around by Exedra when we heard the unmistakable sound of hummingbirds. We'd not seen hummers in Florida, so we were very excited. We looked around and found several hummers nectaring on salvia and hummingbird bush. Cool! Now we don't have to drive all the way to Callaway Gardens to see hummers!! What a difference a little …Read More


    Bird-watching at Lake Louisa State Park

    Bird-watching at Lake Louisa State Park - August 2008

    After our first visit to Lake Louisa, we wonder if it will soon rival Oakland Nature Preserve for birdwatching. We even saw a deer! Birds Butterflies Other Critters


    Georgia Aquarium trip

    Georgia Aquarium trip - August 2008

    Happy Birthday, Rich! We went to the Georgia Aquarium to see turtles for Rich's 29th b-day. Of course we had to check out the loggerhead sea turtle first. There was also an impressive beluga whale on exhibit. I had fun trying to get good pictures of some of the colorful fish swimming around in tanks. This jellyfish looks cool in the picture, but I don't think I'd like to meet …Read More


    Callaway Gardens – Summer 2008

    Callaway Gardens – Summer 2008 - August 2008

    After two years of talking about it, Rich and I finally made it to Callaway Gardens…and thanks to Tropical Storm Fay, it rained the whole time we were there! But I saw my first hummingbirds, we were pleasantly surprised to run into some of our FL winter bird friends, and two of the butterflies in the butterfly center liked my backpack so much that they tried to come home with …Read More


    Hangin’ out with Dyeyo at Bok Tower Gardens

    Hangin’ out with Dyeyo at Bok Tower Gardens - August 2008

    Dyeyo met me at Bok Tower this morning for some bird-watching. We had a great time roaming around in the beautiful gardens. I lent him my Canon Digital Rebel while I used my awesome new Canon 40D. He took some good pictures, too! This cardinal met us in the pine trees right behind the visitor center. She didn't mind when I got closer and closer to photograph her. This juvenile …Read More


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - June 2008

    Painted Bunting, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Gray Catbird, Pileated Woodpecker, House Wren, American Goldfinch, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird Conspicuously absent: Warblers, Robins, Cedar Waxwings.  


    Photography with Friends at Bok Tower Gardens

    Photography with Friends at Bok Tower Gardens - May 2008

    Poor Rich! He was outnumbered by software people this morning! Juan and Pavel joined us for a photography morning at Bok Tower. It was a lot of fun.


    Butterfly portraits at Lukas Butterfly Encounter

    Butterfly portraits at Lukas Butterfly Encounter - March 2008

    I went back to the Lukas Butterfly Encounter today and had a great morning photographing the butterflies.


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - January 2008

    Birds Seen Today - Painted Bunting, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black and White Warbler, American Kestrel, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Gray Catbird, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Pheobe, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - December 2007

    Painted Bunting, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Anhinga, Great Egret, Palm Warbler, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    - December 2007

    Birds Seen Today - Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Downy Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Bald Eagle, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Great Blue Heron, Gray Catbird, American Robin, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - December 2007

    Birds Seen Today - Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, American Kestrel, Hermit Thrush, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - December 2007

    Birds Seen Today - Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Flicker, Bald Eagle, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Great Blue Heron, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Purple Gallinule, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - November 2007

    Birds Seen Today: Painted Bunting, Bald Eagle, American Kestrel, Anhinga, Gray Catbird, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - November 2007

    Birds Seen Today: Painted Bunting, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - November 2007

    Birds Seen Today - Painted Bunting, Gray Catbird, Palm Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Common Yellowthroat, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Common Moorhen, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird  


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - November 2007

    Birds Seen Today: Painted Bunting, Robin, Gray Catbird, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Great Egret, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird


    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve

    Bird-watching at Oakland Nature Preserve - November 2007

    The painted buntings are back at Oakland Nature Preserve! Birds Seen Today - Painted Bunting, Gray Catbird, Indigo Bunting, Tufted Titmouse, House Wren, Osprey, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Red-Wing Blackbird ONP maintains feeders to attract the buntings…not the red-wing blackbirds! The greedy bully bird chased away the female cardinal. The gray catbird kept close but never went to the feeders. I caught two of the most striking birds in the Oakland …Read More


    Hike at Blue Springs State Park

    Hike at Blue Springs State Park - September 2007

    We went hiking today at Blue Springs State Park. Our Butterflies for Binoculars book recommends this park for butterflies, so we decided to visit. We didn't see all the butterflies promised by the book, but we did see some surprises… We were walking along and I saw this caterpillar. Since we hadn't been seeing much, first it was just exciting to see the caterpillar, and be able to get a …Read More


    Butterflies at Lukas Butterfly Encounter

    Butterflies at Lukas Butterfly Encounter - September 2007

    My favorite Lukas Nursery also has an enclosed butterfly garden with tons of free-flight butterflies. They raise the caterpillars and release them into the garden. Butterflies will land on you (which isn't too freaky, if you're expecting it!). They don't mind a bit if you get close to photograph them. So I go over there sometimes to take pictures. Caterpillars Butterflies


    Lowry Park Zoo trip

    Lowry Park Zoo trip - September 2007

    Rich had never been to Lowry Park Zoo, so we drove over to check it out. There was a family of White Tigers that we really enjoyed watching. They were running all around, jumping over each other, and batting at their mom. They reminded us of Mr. Twerp. The chimps were fun to watch, too. There was a baby chimp, and his mom kept carrying him around. He played a …Read More


    A trip to the Turtle Museum for Rich

    A trip to the Turtle Museum for Rich - August 2007

    When I was a kid visiting my grandparents in Juno Beach, we'd often go over to Loggerhead Park, the "Turtle Museum" across the street from my grandparents' condo. So when I married a turtle freak, I told him all about the museum. We finally got to visit and Rich had a great time looking at all the turtles. A whole place dedicated to his favorite animal! This is Jonah. He …Read More


    Butterfly exhibit at Brevard Zoo

    Butterfly exhibit at Brevard Zoo - July 2007

    Rich and I read that the Brevard Zoo was hosting a special butterfly exhibit. So we drove over to Melbourne to check it out. There were some very pretty birds in the butterfly exhibit. I'm not sure what they are, but they were very friendly and let me get very close. There were a bunch of different kinds of butterflies and they were all free-flight in the enclosed area as …Read More


    Bird-watching at Tibet Butler Preserve

    Bird-watching at Tibet Butler Preserve - March 2007

    Thanks to a traffic jam on the turnpike one morning, we found the Tibet Butler Preserve on a back road about 15 minutes from our house. It's another fun place to watch for birds and butterflies.


    Hiking at Wekiva Springs State Park

    Hiking at Wekiva Springs State Park - February 2007

    We read that Wekiva Springs is a great place to bird-watch and hike. It was the first time we'd ever seen a tufted titmouse. I thought this was a robin at first, but then upon closer inspection discovered it was an Eastern Towhee. We didn't get to hear it do its characteristic "Drink your tea!" call, though. This Gray Catbird was right up on the path, and I was photographing …Read More