Three photographs taken along the bottom of a dike.
Above a Great Egret hunts on the grass line. The upper area of the image displays the top of the dike, about 12 feet high (3.5m), with a trail. As you can see most anything below the trail is hidden from view.
And here is a typical item hidden from view above. Usually you can walk along completely unaware the Alligator is that close. If you scare the Alligator, they propel themselves out into the water. Which in turn scares you. Nothing quite like hearing a huge ‘belly-flop’ coming out of nowhere.
Alligator do climb up and over the dikes moving between marshes, there are regular dirt trails. They tend to peek over the top before making their move. I have periodically seen a big head, but they slide right back down and wait until the trails are clear.
Last is a Great Blue Heron. Even with the grass thin here they blend in so well as to be easily missed.
All the photographs above were shot from a parallel dike trail. Which means as I was taking these I had no clue what was down below me on my side.
The scenery, and distance, could not have been better.
When shooting a bird in motion half the time it’s an educated guess if I have zoomed in to catch the scene right. Once you start is not the time to change your mind.
Since I was out in the open I could pan the shots and follow the Spoonbill going by.
I tend to like the environment to be a bigger piece of the image so distance here worked well for me. A clear sweeping opportunity like this is unusual. Typically by the fourth in a series there’s grass or dirt right in front of the lens.
This day Spoonbill were moving back and forth between two big marshes. Here I was moving along with them, well he got there first.