Springtime bird photography at Lake Morton, Lakeland. Baby ducklings, birds in breeding plumage, nesting Mute Swans, cooperative Wood Ducks!
Both springtime and Red-Winged Blackbirds are in the air at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive! Nesting is underway as birds molt into their breeding plumage
Nesting is underway at Viera Wetlands, where Great Blue Herons, Anhingas, and Cormorants are claiming palm trees and showing off their breeding plumage
Photographic highlights of the Lakeland Christmas Bird Count, Outfall Wetlands property. Best bird was Northern Waterthrush.
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
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! :)
Action-packed morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, where bugs were being handed out to all the baby birds!
An early April visit to the Gatorland Rookery yielded awesome shots of beautiful breeding birds and a few cute babies
There were more than Black Skimmers to photograph at the Black Skimmer Colony. Cormorants and terns and a surprise oystercatcher…
I drove down to the Venice Rookery in mid-January to check out the nesting Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets.
A fogbow and a falcon started off the morning at Viera Wetlands. Then nesting Great Blue Herons and a Belted Kingfisher charmed us…
I helped survey the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands for the 2014 Lakeland Christmas Bird Count. Rarities included avocets, stilts, Snail Kites
I got to see American Avocets, Stilt Sandpipers, Black-necked Stilts, and Snail Kites this morning at the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands!
A Double-crested Cormorant surprised me this weekend. Still in breeding plumage, his bright blue eye and mouth are awesome!
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 and reaching his wings up behind him. Then just as quickly, he snapped back up and resumed his stare. Silly bird! It must have been a courtship behavior, and all I could think of was the movie Legally Blonde and the “bend and snap!” scene. He repeated this little “bend and snap” several times throughout the morning, usually when I was focused on some other action (like the Great Blue Herons who were stealing sticks from neighboring nests!) Finally I managed to focus fast enough to catch him in a dip. I’ve often wondered why these birds are called Double-crested Cormorants. During most of the year, their heads are quite smooth. It’s only during breeding season that they get two tufted crests on the sides of their heads. This season […]
The nesting Great Blue Herons were stealing sticks at Viera Wetlands last weekend. The nest’s owner wasn’t too happy with the thieves!
The Viera Wetlands nesting season is in full swing with Great Blue Heron fly-ins, courtship rituals, and even the first small chicks
The Hooded Mergansers continue to hang out at my backyard pond, and I’ve visited them several times over the past month. They are very skittish birds. I lie down near the pond’s edge and use my groundpod to balance the Beast. The birds usually start out on the opposite side of the pond, but after I stay there quiet for a while, the birds relax a bit and start to swim closer. They are such fun to watch as they swim and dive. The golden afternoon light at the pond was beautiful as it shone on the birds. The birds were pretty sleepy this afternoon. They swam back and forth with their eyes closed. It can be hard to get good group shots, so I was happy when they grouped themselves nicely and all faced me. There was quite a bit of preening going on! It’s hard to get good preening shots, with the bird’s head parallel to the image plane. I kept hoping that the birds would start bathing, which is almost always followed by a good wing flap. But they didn’t want to cooperate with me. The Hoodies weren’t the only birds at the pond that afternoon. This […]
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 took the Heron Hideout trail out to Wading Bird Way. Our first good birds of the day were the Bald Eagles that nest out on the sandhill. They put on a good display for us, mating at the top of a tree! It was the first time I’ve seen them do that. So the next batch of eaglets is underway! Of course, we were so busy talking that we missed the mating shot. My first frame was the flight shot as the birds separated. But they did pose together nicely on a tree for several minutes. Almost as we hit the Wading Bird Way trail, I spotted a small brown fuzzball out in the marshy grasses. Then I heard the small, weezy calls of baby Limpkins who are running toward […]
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 to practice your flight shots. Stand on the southern end of the Heron Hideout trail just after sunrise, and wait. The birds almost always take off after sunrise and fly towards Lake Hancock, right towards the Heron Hideout trail. It’s perfect for flight shots.