Circumstances the past couple of years have prevented me from making my annual trip to Florida to photograph birds, so I was very happy to finally make it back last week. I began my sojourn on the west coast below Fort Meyers. This included visits to Ding Darling Preserve and Estero Bay. While photographing wildlife is seldom predictable, I was pleased to find quite a few species on my first couple of days. The following images will give you a good idea of what I saw.
In all of the years I’ve been photographing birds this is the first time I’ve seen so many Great White Egrets fishing together. Among them were also Snowy Egrets and Reddish Egrets. The Reddish Egrets are known for raising their wings to see into the water better by taking the glare off and to “dance” in order to stir up the crustaceans and little fish. They’re a lot of fun to watch. The Snowy Egrets are small, but feisty. They seem to always be looking for a fight.
(Click on an image to see a larger version)
The Little Blue Heron is unique in that it is solid white when born and slowly turns into the dusty blue of an adult. The Tri-colored Heron is easily identified although you can see the change in the color of its breeding plumage in the second image.
The beautiful pink colors of this bird always attract attention. There was a time when they were almost hunted to extinction for their pink feathers which were valued for women’s hats and clothes. Fortunately, that was reversed in time and today they are quite numerous. Their colors are more intense during breeding season as you see here.
Several other birds were in the areas I visited. The first image is of the emerald-eyed Cormorant. Next is a White Ibis looking a bit embarrassed by the small size of its catch. A Sandpiper shows the pattern on its wings. The last is the very tiny Killdeer. My first encounter with one.
At one location high above the wading birds was an Osprey nest. At first glance it appeared that a female was sitting on eggs. At least until another head popped up which turned out to be a fair sized very hungry chick. I was hoping that dad would show up to feed it, but to the disappointment of all three of us he didn’t make it while I was there.
It has just recently come to my attention that my responses to your comments have not been going back to your email address although they are posted on the blog on this website. I do apologize for this as I value your feedback and comments. I have my web tech working on this and it should be corrected shortly.
Thanks so much for following me in my photographic adventures! Cheryl