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.
We were at the salt marsh at the inlet watching some brown pelicans flying, fishing, napping, and just in general being pelicans. Some were scavenging for food when one juvenile came up with a fish. This quickly attracted a crowd which included one particularly aggressive adult. After a brief scuffle, the older bird managed to gain possession of the prize and had his victory snack to enjoy!
The beach and salt marsh area had only been opened by the state about two weeks, and after hearing reports of Roseate Spoonbill sightings we had to head over and check out the scene.
Well there were indeed several spoonbills out feeding during low tide. One of the older birds was off by himself having a delightful time scooping up numerous amounts of fish and shrimp. After a short time another younger spoonie came flying in to join the fun. That did not initially go over too well with our more mature friend who concluded it was time to express his displeasure by attempting to bite the leg of the newcomer. He just barely missed with that one, but the message was received.
Just before we left, yet another of the big, pink visitors came in for a landing. Now it’s only a matter of waiting to see if they end up sticking around for the entire season. In any case, always great to see these fun birds!
A spoonbill had joined a trio of snowy egrets when suddenly an alligator came slowly gliding in.
The snowys didn’t seem at all concerned but the spoonbill was a very young bird and likely had little experience with alligators.
Actually, the alligator seemed a bit young as well so he was possibly somewhat bewildered along with the spoonie. In any case they all got along fine and ended up continuing along with their day as normal.
We still have a good size number of wood storks feeding and roosting in and around the salt marsh area. Here is a portion of one group converging on a seafood feast along with a few egrets at low tide.
Inevitably, one wood stork will jump off and fly to a new section, frequently one at a time and the rest will soon follow.
I watched a few individuals leave the crowd and fly away to their new fishing hole always in hopes of hitting the jackpot.
Some say the wood storks have a face only a mother could love but they are interesting birds and among the fastest of all the wading birds in snapping their beaks shut on a fish.
I saw this alligator laying down along the edge of the marsh and I thought he looked a bit depressed, almost like he just lost his best friend.
Of course it’s possible he may have just eaten his best friend, but that would be pure speculation and will forever remain one of the mysteries of nature.
Or then again, maybe Mister A is simply fat, happy, and out enjoying a pleasant afternoon in the sun. Yeah, I think I’ll go with that!
Last week when the spoonbills were in, we also had the usual crowd of wood storks, ibis, blue herons, great and snowy egrets all chasing the assorted schools of fish and shrimp.
While several other people moved over to watch the spoonies in the marsh, I kept my eye on this one lone egret because he had that look which I knew meant lunch was about to be served. And indeed it was, the egret came up with a nice fish meal.
Since I was the only person nearby, the egret took a few steps toward me to proudly show off his fresh caught seafood specialty. I was of course appropriately impressed.