Scarlet Tanager Chewing his Bug

Photographing Scarlet Tanagers Eating Insects

May 1, 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 […]

Summer Tanager (male)

Migrant Birds at Fort De Soto

April 29, 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 […]

Red-Breasted Merganser

Springtime Bird Photography at Fort De Soto

April 15, 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 […]

Great Horned Owl Family

Great Horned Owl Nest at Fort De Soto

March 4, 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 […]

Sandwich Tern chases fish in mid-air

The Chase

September 15, 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 […]

Doin' the Twist!

Feeding Frenzy at Fort De Soto

September 14, 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 […]

East Beach at Dawn

Sunrise at Fort De Soto

September 12, 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 […]

Sanderling

Shorebirds Returning to Florida’s Beaches

September 10, 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 […]

Sunset on North Beach

Sunset at Fort De Soto’s North Beach

September 8, 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 […]

Juvenile Loggerhead Shrike

Fort De Soto with My Dad

June 24, 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 […]

Pleasant Morning at Fort De Soto

May 1, 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. […]

Windy and Cold at Fort De Soto

April 7, 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 […]

Peaceful Blue…

November 6, 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 […]

Fishing Buddies

September 21, 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 […]

Alone in the Crowd

September 18, 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 […]

Cue the Yawn!

September 14, 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!

September 11, 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 […]

North Beach Sunset

September 10, 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 […]

Flying Sandwiches

September 7, 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 […]

Orange and Black

September 6, 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 […]

Sunset Blast-Off

September 5, 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. […]

Bathtime

Springtime Bath

September 4, 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 […]

They’re Ba-ack!

August 2, 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 […]

A Quest for a Black Belly

May 18, 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!