My daughter Sally was riding in the second car during our Point and Shoot Nature Photographer field trip to the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Viera Florida on the last day of the Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival and managed to spot this American Bittern in the reeds beside the road. When I stopped to photograph nesting Herons on their palm stumps I realized she was not behind me, and walked back to see what her car load was looking at. Wonderful bird. Another group with more eyes (I will not say better eyes, but they had at least 3 superbirders with them) found 5 American Bitterns at Viera that morning, but we were happy with our one! Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/400th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.
I feel like this little video slideshow needs a PG13 rating at least. Some may be uncomfortable with the event recorded here, but it is part of life. Life is hard, even when you are a very large Bullfrog…and this Bullfrog must have been a king of its own kind. It was huge. The Little Blue Heron, while not a large heron, is just enough bigger to make a meal of the Bullfrog…but it was not an easy meal. The outcome was in doubt for much of 20 minutes as we watched. The frog expired about 10 minutes in, but it certainly looked impossible for the heron to get it down. I seem to detect a hint of self-satisfaction in the final shot…but then I am human and the heron is not. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/400th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr and assembled into the video in Adobe Spark.
Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Viera Florida (commonly called Viera Wetlands) is great place for bird photography. The final stage settlement ponds have been converted to idea habitat for all the common, and some of the uncommon, birds of North Central Florida. There are many nests of Great Blue Herons, mostly on the broken off stumps of palms standing out in the water. Here we have a sequence of the male bringing in a fresh branch and the female receiving his gift. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.
I posted a still image of this Reddish Egret dancing for fish the other day. Here is a little slideshow of the many and varied poses and postures the Red gets into while fishing. It is only 30 seconds. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.
Painted Buntings are, arguably, North Americas most colorful bird. They look like something from the tropics, but they are common in the southern parts of the US, and always present in small numbers in Florida. Yesterday there were two males and two females attending the feeders at the Visitor Center at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville Florida. The feeders are off the end of the deck around the building, in a deep grove of bushy plants, and there is never much light in there. This shot was at ISO 2500, so pushing the limits of what can be done with a 1 inch sensor camera…still I am happy with the detail and overall image quality as processed in Polarr. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. 1/250 @ f4 @ ISO 2500.
There is nothing more entertaining, in my opinion, than watching a Reddish Egret fishing. It must, somehow, be efficient enough to keep these rather large birds alive, but it looks like nothing so much as clowning around. It has an awkward grace…but the key word there is awkward. This is the final move…often accomplished with wings spread to form a canopy to shade the water so the Egret can see through the surface and spear or seize the fish. This bird entertained us at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville Florida as it fed itself. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.
My first day in Florida for the Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival, and we barely had time, between the airport, checkin at the hotel, and checkin at the Birding Festival, to spend a half hour at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to see if we could find some birds to photograph. These two Black Vultures were hanging out at the Visitor Center. They were having a drink from the pond pretty much right under the boardwalk. One eventually flew up and landed on the boardwalk rail about 6 feet from us. That is as close as I want to see a vulture, thank you very much. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 125. Processed in Polarr.
Another snowy forest scene with fresh snow form Laudholm Farms in Wells Maine. In winter I can not go to many of my favorite photo spots simply because there is no off road parking, or they do not plow the lots if there is. Laudholm Farm is an exception, as it is open and a popular cross country ski and snowshoe destination. Sony RX10iv at about 160mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.
Squirrels are always more attractive…or as attractive as squirrels can get…when they are not on our back deck raiding the bird feeders. 🙂 This one was maybe 30 yards away, recovering from the mad dash from the deck when he saw me coming, but you don’t need to know he is a criminal. You can simply appreciate him for what he is, a relatively cute squirrel. (Or you could have if I had not told you about his rap sheet.) Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 250. Processed in Polarr.
After spending way too much time on the computer yesterday, attempting to iron out the wrinkles in my new URLs for my blogs (including this one), I made a run out and about to see what I could find to photograph. This Common Loon is another bird I used to see a lot at the mouth of the local rivers and along the coast…but it has become rare now…if I see more than 10 in a winter that is a good winter. This is my first for this winter. The panel captures some of the poses of a winter loon. You might notice that the sun went behind a cloud between the top two shots and the bottom two. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent (cropped to about 1200mm equivalent). Program mode. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.