Thursday, March 26, 2009

Backyard Birding - March 25, 2009

When I got home today I decided to set up my tripod in the backyard and wait and see what might show. I had at least a dozen doves under the feeder at the north end of the yard and I could hear the birds singing in the maple tree in the backyard but nothing to photograph. Patience is a virtue and I have found that when it comes to waiting for the birds I have all the patience in the world so I waited. Before I knew it they started flying in one by one: Goldfinch, House Sparrows, Blackbirds and Grackles. After about an hour I packed up the tripod and went inside only to find that there was a new visitor to the feeder - there sitting on the thistle sack was the brightest House finch and his mate - beautiful.

If you stand quiet long enough they do come in to feed and will stay for a while allowing photo after photo. Hope you enjoyed the photos. Til my next post.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fort Myers Beach 03/05/2009

From the time I found out that we were going to go to Fort Myers Beach I couldn't wait to plan what it was I wanted to do when we got there. I knew I wanted to go to Ding-Darling Wildlife Refuge for a little birding and then do a little deep sea fishing. How fast plans change - with temperatures already in the 70s all we could think of doing was renting a couple of lounge chairs, lay down and enjoy the afternoon sun. The beach always has it's entertainment, planes flying overhead advertising rides, parasailing, Ring-billed Gulls and the Laughing Gulls fighting for either attention or the food that someone has throw to them. There are Brown Pelicans gliding over the Gulf while Terns fly up and hover over the water and then splash down for their dinner. I watched in amazement as the Brown Pelican does the same thing without hurting himself. We laid out in the sun til the sunset and then it was time to go to our room, sit outside the Tiki Bar and listen to the entertainment.

The reset of my vacation kind of went like this: A walk along the beach every morning with camera and tripod in tow. The subjects here are a lot different from the same at home - these guys actually stay up close and kind of personal. A couple of Willets walk up and down looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A Great Blue Heron strutting his stuff back and forth as the tide washes in and out and other photographers trying to get that one shot. Three Snowy Egrets grabbing breakfast as well as the waves move them around. In one of the little pools where the tide comes in and then goes out leaving it a slight mud plain there are Piping Plovers running around. Traveling over the Sanibel Causeway we pulled over where we found Western Sandpipers, Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers, and a Juvenile Black-bellied Plovers just walking up and down the water's edge.

One morning while making my walk down the beach a bird circled and headed right towards me, I thought nothing of it til I noticed his white head with that black streak across his eyes and realized that this was an Osprey. These guys fly around like the seagulls fly around you in Michigan. They will drop in the middle of a crowded beach, grab the sea weed that has washed up to shore and then fly away to build their nest. At the end of my walk there is a large bird dancing in the water, not sure what it is at the time all I could do was hope he would come to the side where I was. No sooner did I wish it - it happened. Landing in front of me doing his own version of "Swan Lake" is a Reddish Egret, he was just dancing away - stirring up the gulf floor and bringing up a fish or clam with every step. He was awesome to watch. In another stream that lies between the gulf and the string of hotels are three White Ibis searching for their meals. A Great Blue Heron stands on a pile of branches in the middle of this stream just primping and prepping to make himself look good.

The sunsets here are gorgeous and everyone stops what they're doing to take a picture. I've been told that pictures of sunsets are a dime a dozen unless there is something else in the photo besides the sun. But there still is something about a sunset that's just so relaxing no matter what else is in the photo.

This was my vacation short, sweet and still very relaxing. Til my next post.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lake Erie Metro Park - 2/28/09

They say a "Picture is worth a thousand words". Here is two-thousand.

Two Long-eared Owls sitting in the same tree at LEMP.

Til my next post.