I previously worked as a news and sports photographer. Recently I have been enjoying wildlife photography. My approach toward bird photos is similar to sports photography. I attempt to capture mostly action and hopefully a unique perspective.
This morning I was surprised to see an alligator over in a section of the salt marsh where I don’t normally see them. This one was apparently on the hunt for something a little different because I saw him come up with some odd looking crab that had translucent legs. Maybe the alligator was in the mood for something exotic and figured if it hunted in a new location it would possibly find some new food…and this one sure did!
Yesterday evening just as the sun was setting, I was watching this tricolored heron fishing in the salt marsh among the oyster beds. He was having excellent success, catching the typical small minnows that they like so much, one here and one there as he waded along at low tide. But the little tri really hit the jackpot on one of his last attempts…he came up with three fish on one strike at the water! I have seen them catch two at once but never three. He looked quite satisfied and happy with himself as help gulped down the trifecta!
Yesterday evening we were watching this alligator sloshing around in the salt marsh in search of dinner. The alligators don’t live in the salt marsh, they prefer fresher water, but they will visit at times when they get a craving for something a little different then what they might normally find in the pond area.
This alligator was gliding along slowly when he must have spotted something, possibly a crab, and he suddenly lunged up from the marsh straining water and plunging over to his right with a huge splash. I never did see what he got or even if he got anything, but that is also part of their feeding process. Making a big splash like that can often get fish or crabs all stirred up and in a panic which can make them easier to catch.
Since it is Mother’s Day here in the U.S. I thought it might be pleasant and appropriate to post a fine array of bright red tulips in celebration of all the moms out there on their special day.
However…just so you folks don’t think I have gone all soft by posting a flower photo, I will also present a sentimental and more traditional photo typical of Phil Lanoue Photography. So here’s a touching image of Mrs. Alligator with her baby relaxing on momma’s back! What could be more heartwarming?
Thursday afternoon I noticed this unlikely pair both taking advantage of the sun and the breeze. The anhinga needed to dry his wings, and the alligator just needed a nap. The alligator never paid any attention to the bird but the anhinga did keep his eyes open and stayed alert, you know, just in case…
I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon being tormented by this osprey. It kept doing slow circles over the salt marsh apparently searching for a fish to swoop down and grab. At times it would stop and hover in mid air which is a sign the bird has spotted a fish, and then it will go into a steep dive to snatch up and pluck out the fish. This was the photo I wanted and waited for quite awhile hoping to get. But this osprey kept decoying me by hovering and then diving down right in front of me…but it would always pull up at the last instant before striking the water and then it would start the process all over again. Keep in mind there were fish visible, even to us, jumping in the water all over the place. But did this osprey ever catch one?! No it did not. It would go right back to circling around over the marsh and then fly off only to reappear in ten minutes or so and do it again. I began to take it personally and had the feeling this smug osprey was deliberately toying with me! At one point it went into an effortlessly looking ascent that must have taken it a quarter of a mile up in a matter of seconds, only to swoop back down and fly in and look at me with that face and taunting look as if to say…”Can you do that?” Of course I can’t…and this bird knew it!
Yesterday afternoon I was watching this great blue heron fishing in the salt marsh and he was quite skilled at catching fish, I saw him catch several in a short period of time.
But…he kept turning his back to me whenever he caught a fish. He was fine with me being there and photographing his success, however he did not seem to wish to show off his catch to me. Maybe he thought I was going to try to take it from him and wanted to gulp it down as quickly as possible while facing away from me. My plan in any case was to let him keep whatever he caught!