Beyond the Backyard

Early Morning at the Viera Wetlands Click Ponds

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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 posting it. :) Suffice it to say that even a Beast sometimes yields pictures where the subject is a small pinpoint! I was surprised to see several Green Herons in the grasses. They stood with their necks stretched, and they reminded me of Least Bitterns. One flew in and posed right in front of me for a few seconds. The light was absolutely horrible, so I ended up sharpening this picture in Lightroom. The sun actually did come out during the “golden hour”…for about five seconds. Lucky for me, I had just found the three Redheads and single Canvasback, and the sun’s light came at the perfect time. The ducks dove, splashed, then came up “all in a row.” I exposed to the right and then adjusted the image in […]

Backyard photography

Rainy Day Walk around Stoneybrook West

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Another cold front passed through today, making our first day of Christmas break a very rainy one.  We were cooped up inside all morning, then finally I couldn’t take it anymore and we went for a walk between showers.  It was an unusually active walk (or maybe I’m already used to our Standard Time nighttime walks with no birds!)  We saw Bow Tie (our neighborhood Yellow-throated Warbler), an Eastern Phoebe, dozens of Palm Warblers and Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Mallards, Blue-Winged Teals, Lesser Scaups, a Ring-Billed Gull, a Female Canvasback, Snowy Egrets, several flocks of White Ibises, Pied-Billed Grebes, and my first Wilson’s Snipe at Stoneybrook West. The walk started out on a somber note with a sighting of a Cooper’s Hawk in our backyard.  On top of our big bird feeder!  But he left without causing too much birdie distress. There has been a small group of Lesser Scaups at the pond at the intersection of Tour Pointe and Town Commons.  Usually the birds are off on the other side of the pond, but today they were on my side and I could get some closer pictures (but with horrible overcast lighting).  The birds are very skittish; as soon as you […]