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.
Yesterday we stopped over to the salt marsh just to see if anything was going on. The tide was fairly high so not optimal conditions for many of the wading birds. Although a few of the usual suspects, egrets, and great blue herons were around, the spoonbills and wood storks had already taken to the trees in the back corner of the pond.
However, our friendly neighborhood bald eagle was on scene sitting atop one of his favorite trees. He had a look on his face as if to say, ‘What took y’all so long?’
I was hoping to catch the jump off which he was happy to promptly provide, but he changed his usual flight pattern on me. Rather than the standard jump, dip low, then fly forward, this time I was fooled by a very quick jet to the right and fly off. Lucky for me the eagle did do a circle back with an overhead flight providing me with one more photo opportunity.
I’ll be sure to check back soon though as the weather improves, a light mist and fog were not exactly the perfect conditions, but I can’t complain too much, at least he waited for me!
Earlier this morning we saw a snowy egret enjoying an early trip to his favorite dining spot, the salt marsh. On this day however, the only item on the menu was shrimp. But this plucky snowy knows where to find the freshest seafood in town.
Not only is the food fresh, no cooking is even required, he loves it still wriggling around!
Checking back over in the swamp, we find another alligator casually enjoying the warm sun on his back. Heating up will be an important part of the day’s activities (or lack thereof) as he slowly begins to emerge from his lair and wait for feeding time.
It will likely be another few weeks until the full on hunt for food becomes a major driving urge for him and his friends in the swamp. Soon, some might make their way over to the salt marsh area where visions of fresh crab will be dancing in their heads!
It’s a sure sign as temps warm up that Spring is approaching.
One other significant sign is when we start to see the alligators awake from their swampy slumber and begin to venture out to inspect their world in this new year.
It’s reassuring to see that nature carries on properly, relying on untold eons of instincts to guide the way.
For the past few years we have been receiving fairly regular December visits by the white pelicans. They can and will arrive at other times of the year, but the marsh pond in December seems to be on their standard reservation list.
They generally don’t do excessive amounts of flying, most of their time is usually spent gliding through the water in search of a meal. This is the opposite of the brown pelicans who fly quite a bit and feed by diving face first into the water, landing with a head pounding splash!
I can sympathize with the white pelicans whose sheer size and bulk make flying more of a chore. The wing span of the white pelicans is second in length only to the California Condor here in the States.
These guys also tend to float and fish in tight groups, their scoop and swallow technique appears almost choreographed, so it must be successful for them!
There was also one Roseate Spoonbill in attendance today which is uncommon for them, but who knows? Maybe they will ultimately become year round visitors which would be a nice change.
I had forgotten I took this photo, I never posted it here, but apparently did email it to a friend who posted it on social media where it attracted a bit of attention.
In this case, the spoonbill is entirely back lit by afternoon sun, making the water so bright.
I’ll have to dig around, as I’m sure there’s hundreds of various photos like this I’ve completely forgotten about that have never seen the light of day!