Roseate Spoonbill in Flight

I posted a shot from this Roseate Spoonbill flyby experience a week ago or more…we were photographing a mixed feeding flock of waders in one of the pools along Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, just past the turn by the rest area, when a group of Roseate Spoonbills flew in, one at a time. It was an opportunity not to be missed. I switched to my Birds in Flight and Action memory, and caught several of the birds as they came by. This one was close. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. 1/1250th @ f8 @ ISO 100. -1EV. Processed in Polarr. Such wings!

Proud as a Crane

Okay, yes, I do know it is “proud as a peacock”, but this Sandhill Crane is certainly looking proud. This is from my close encounter with Sandhills at Orlando Wetlands Park in Christmas, Florida, where, if you remember from previous posts, two Cranes walked down Bobcat Alley with me for 50 yards for more, just keeping company. It was quite an experience. Sony RX10iv at 190mm equivalent. My birds and wildlife modifications of Program mode. 1/1000th @ f4.5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Florida Scrub Jay

This Florida Scrub Jay at the Helen and Allan Cruickshank Reserve in Rockledge, Florida was as bold as only a Florida Scrub Jay can get…feeding practically at my feet. You can see the band on his leg. The Florida Scrub Jay is one of the most studied and carefully managed species in Florida, perhaps even in the US. If you look closely, you will see that someone, someone who did not read the prominently posted signs and/or is totally ignorant of, or disrespectful of, the law, has been scattering sunflower seeds to attract the small flock of Scrub Jays who inhabit the sanctuary. Not cool! In my experience Florida Scrub Jays are so curious and so friendly that they will come to humans without the inducement of illegal feeding. Of course, I may have always benefited from someone else’s disobedience. Hard to tell with Florida Scrub Jays. Anyway. this is a proud and apparently healthy specimen. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds and wildlife modifications of Program mode. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 200. Processed in Polarr.

Stand tall for Snowy Egrets

Snowy Egrets are among the most elegant of egrets…among the most elegant of wading birds. This shot shows one standing tall and showing off from the crown of its head to the tips of its yellow toes. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds and wildlife modifications of Program mode. 1/1250th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Such big feet!

The first Purple Gallinules I found at Orlando Wetlands Park in Christmas, Florida were on the wrong side of the dyke, moving against the sun, all but silhouetted. Tricky exposure, but with some +EV and some creative post-processing (including some luminance masking in Polarr), it was possible to get the shots, and bring out most of the color in the birds. I like this one because it shows the amazing foot of the Gallinule…made for walking on floating water plants. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds and wildlife modifications to Program mode. 1/320th @ f4 @ ISO 100. +1EV. Processed in Polarr.

Spoonbill on reflection

On my very first trip around Blackpoint Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida, the Roseate Spoonbills were close to the road, only about a mile into the drive. There have been years, many years, when I did not see them in numbers and certainly not close to the road for the whole week of the Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival. Such a treat! I zoomed back a bit to 500mm equivalent to get this bird and its reflection in the frame at the same time. Wonderful creature! Sony RX10iv as above, 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egrets are so much fun to watch as they fish in the shallow waters of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. They run erratically, they lift their wings, they totter and turn, posturing and prancing and apparently having a lot of fun. Of course, in reality, it is all in a day’s work for them…the serious business of chasing down prey…but for the watcher it can be very entertaining. And I am always willing to be entertained. Plus, they are simply an attractive bird. That blend of grey and reddish purple, and the texture of the feathers can be very striking in the right light…and the the Florida light is often right. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds in flight and action modifications to Program mode. 1/1000th @ f5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Great Blue Heron

Of course the Great Blue Heron has no more blue on it than the Little Blue Heron. Essentially a grey, black, brown, and white bird, it is in no way blue! Still, it is impossible not to photograph every Great Blue Heron I see. They are just to photogenic. 🙂 The plumage always shows a range of textures that is unrivaled in the bird world. And they are always posing. This one is off Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville Florida. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds and wildlife modifications of Program mode. 1/1000th @ f4.5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Little Blue Heron

When I first got to Black-point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida the sun was still behind a bank of cloud. The soft light was idea for capturing the more subtle tones of the wading birds, like this Little Blue Heron, which was actively feeding close up against the bank of the dyke road. Though it is called Little Blue, to my eye there is no blue on it. It is a purple and purple-tinged gray bird, and one of my favorite waders…but then, I like all the common Florida waders 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 560mm equivalent…so close I had to zoom back a bit to fit it in the frame. My birds and wildlife modifications to Program mode. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 160. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr.

Purple-throated Mountain Gem

I have been doing some clearing-out of unprocessed images on my iPad Pro and in the process found these shots of the Purple-throated Mountain Gem, taken in December at La Paz Waterfall Gardens on the first day of two weeks in Costa Rica. I knew I had only taken the time to download a few of the images from that day for processing, and, fortunately I had not formatted the card yet, and found these Gems! The Purple-throated Mountain Gem is a mid-altitude hummer, and is replaced by the White-throated Mountain Gem at higher elevations. They share the bold white eye-stripe and overall coloration…only the throat is distinctive. Both are among the most beautiful hummers in Central America. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds and wildlife modifications of Program mode. 1/250th @ f4 at ISO 800 (left) and ISO 250 (right). Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.