Royal Tern Over
Royals Terns make amazing dive bombs for their prey which are usually small baitfish running close to the surface and sometimes if you are lucky you get to see them “Tern Over” in mid air. This tern is really shaking off the water it soaked up after a dive for prey but it also does make it difficult to tell which way is up!
This was taken on a cloudy morning, man I wish it had been “Sunnyside up”.
~I’m out of town but will be back soon, please feel free to share this post with your friends and family!
Snowy Egret in early morning light – Nikon D70, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 240mm, natural light, not baited
This Snowy Egret was photographed as it stood in the shallow water of the Gulf of Mexico at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach one early August morning in 2007. I had the north tip of the beach to myself as the sunbathers, beach walkers and other photographers hadn’t arrived. It was very peaceful to sit low on the sand and photographed this Snowy Egret with the sounds of the waves gently lapping at the shore and the calls of gulls, skimmers and other birds overhead.
The Nikon D70 I photographed this Snowy Egret with is ancient compared to newer cameras and it is now the backup to my two backup D200′s that I carry with me on long trips.
More Snowy Egret images
Whimbrel on a floating mat of seaweed
Among the shorebirds I enjoyed seeing and photographing while I lived in Florida were Whimbrels, I could see flocks of 25 or more during the winter along the coast. There had been rough waves the day before I photographed this Whimbrel which pushed floating mats of seaweed up close to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, the Whimbrels were feeding on small crabs that were in the seaweed.
I know that Whimbrels do show up here in Utah during their migration north but I have yet to be able to get close enough to photograph them. Whimbrels breed in northern Arctic regions and can live up to 1 years. They are similar in appearance to Long-billed Curlews that I often photograph here and in Montana but bill length helps with ID. The curve of their bills matches the curve of the burrows of Fiddler Crabs, their favorite prey item.
*I am going to be away from my computer a lot until Friday, please feel free to share this post with your friends and family.
Ruddy Turnstone with a Calico shell
Five years ago today I was laying in the warm wet sands of Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach as the salty water from the Gulf of Mexico soaked my skin while photographing a Ruddy Turnstone doing what they do best, turning things. The Ruddy Turnstone was turning this Calico Shell over to get at the bits of the creature that was still inside the shell. I was able to get a nice series of about 10 images before some beach walkers walked directly between the turnstone and me. Surely they had to wonder why a woman would be laying in the sand with a camera shoved against her face? I guess not because they continued on their way and the turnstone went the other.
Nonbreeding Laughing Gull with a Calico Shell
As soon as the beach walkers and the turnstone left this Laughing Gull walked over and took the rest of the meat from inside the shell though unlike the Ruddy Turnstone it did not turn it over once.
American Oystercatcher with prey – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
American Oystercatchers were among my favorite shorebirds to photograph at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach when I lived in Florida. Their bright orange bills, pink legs, black & white plumage and bright yellow eyes rimmed in red always fascinated me plus their behavior and distinctive call often amused me. I photographed this adult Oystercatcher as it hunted for prey in the shallow water of a tidal lagoon and was pleased to get this image with a tiny mollusk in its bill.
I’ve been fairly busy recently, I hope to get caught up on thanking you all for the kind comments that you have left on my posts this past week.
More American Oystercatcher images