Monday, November 30, 2009
For at least 6 months there has been an osprey that sleeps on our neighbor's sailboat every night. He usually comes in right before dark. Last night I heard him screaming and looked out the window to see a hawk sitting in his spot. He flew around the hawk several times but the hawk refused to move. I went outside and took the above first shot. I occasionally see red shouldered hawks in our neighborhood but this was the first time I had seen him sitting on the sailboat. Right after I took the first shot the osprey came flying back around to try and get the hawk to leave. I went back side the house and right as it was getting dark I checked outside and the hawk had left and the osprey was sitting in his favorite spot.
I shot the below picture as well before I went inside. The almost full moon was hanging over our yard.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Snowy egret getting ready to strike.
Tricolored heron has a little fish.
The north beach marsh at Fort Desoto is always busy with birds hunting for food. The water is shallow on the lagoon side so there is usually plenty to eat. I was there earlier this week and found a few birds getting an early lunch. I sat quietly in the sand for a while and they were busy all around me getting a bite. Eventually I got hungry and headed out for some lunch myself.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Boattail grackle eating a berry at the Safety Harbor fishing pier.
Great Blue Heron trying to sleep at Kapok Park.
Wild parrot at Kapok Park. These guys are always high up in trees.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier Saturday morning. When it's low tide there are usually lots of big birds feeding there. There was a group of at least 6 manatees swimming around and under the fishing pier. The water was fairly clear so you could see them coming up for air. It was so much fun seeing them swimming around. I guess the water is not cold enough yet for them to leave the area. Soon they'll all be heading over to the TECO plant for some warm water. If you want to see hundreds of manatees together that's the place to go in the next couple of months.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Earlier this week I had a photo lesson with a local photographer named Jason Collin. We met at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg in the morning. We worked on floral photography using different lighting and different set-ups. He made me use my tripod most of the time (which I hate using) so it was good for me to get the practice in. He also let me use his prime macro lens which is harder to use than you think. It's a trick to get it into perfect focus. Above are some of the pictures I took.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This weekend we had some visitors in our backyard. I looked out the window and 6 ibis were sitting on our fence. There was a juvenile ibis sitting on our neighbor's fence. It was funny to see them all lined up in a row. They just watched me as I came around the corner of the house and snapped a picture.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Limpkin eating a freshwater mussel. This was taken at Kapok Park in fresh water.
No rain for a while so the lake was low. There were a lot of snails showing in the lake bed. This is the limpkin's main diet.
This pink stuff is apple snail eggs. They lay their eggs above water so the fish don't eat them (that way the limpkins can eat them when they are fully grown). I noticed this big blob at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland when the dragonfly landed on it. Now I see these blobs at the lakes around here. I guess that's why the limpkins hang out at these lakes.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Don't they know they could get eaten?
A baby in the water.
Small one basking in the sun.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Now it's nap time.
I found him (or her). The rare long billed curlew that's been hanging out at the north beach lagoon at Fort Desoto park. Pinellasbirds.com has been keeping tabs on this bird all summer. They spend their summers up in the northern part of the country. It's very rare to see one in Florida all through the summer. He must have come last winter and stayed put. This breed is considered "highly imperiled" by the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan. They are declining in numbers. He seemed to be staying close to a large flock of gulls and terns but kept to himself. He's very graceful when he moves. It's a shame there's only one. Maybe he'll find a mate this winter.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Snowy plover resting.
Black bellied plover - his belly will turn black in the winter. It is the largest plover in the US.
Piping plover at Fort Desoto.
Sign when you enter the north beach area at Fort Desoto.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Snowy egret on an uncomfortable fence.
Great Blue Heron walking along the seawall.