Thursday, March 22, 2012

Florida Birding

This was only my second time being in Florida in March, and I once again had a great time at Wakodahatchee Wetlands and Green Cay. Unfortunately, since I visited them during the middle of the day, there were not as many warblers around as I had hoped, only palm and yellow-rumped. However, I did see a male yellow-rumped in the middle of changing to his spring plumage, which was very interesting. Also of note was a roseate spoonbill, which I had missed last year. I'm not sure if that's because of the time of year (last year I was there over President's day), but it was nice to see one this time. This is the best picture I could get of it, but I like it because it shows the color and the unusual bill.
This baby alligator was resting with its two siblings. I remember the first time I was in Florida, at Loxahatchee NWR, I was about to touch the tail of a slightly larger juvenile alligator because I thought it was an intricately patterned feather from a hawk or turkey. Fortunately, I realized that it was attached to a small alligator, and took some nice pictures instead.

Although I usually don't want my pictures to have man-made things in them (the boardwalk rails in this case), I liked the light background and expression of this female red-winged blackbird.
I love this picture because it's similar to another picture I took of a cormorant two years ago at Wakodahatchee. Once again, this one was sitting on the railing, and allowing people to come as close as they wanted. When I took the previous picture, I had my 55-250mm lens, and it was a great opportunity since that lens had to be very close to a bird to get a frame-filling image. This time I actually had to back away to even be able to focus, but I think it turned out extremely well. I think the brown indicates a young bird, but it could also be a female.
And the other picture I mentioned. They're different color schemes and facing different ways, but I think they make a good set.
I spent about twenty minutes trying to get a flight shot of this bird, since it was following a set pattern, flying to a berm to get a branch and then flying back to put it on its nest. Eventually, I moved to a more advantageous location, where it was flying towards me for longer, and I could get a green background.

Things are starting to get very green around here, so I wouldn't be surprised if some early migrants showed up soon. Keep a good lookout!

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