I had not given any thought to photographing birds at a beach on our trip. All the plans and maps revolved around the swamps and scrub pine forests. We found a wildlife preserve right on a beach while driving and ultimately made it a nightly stop.
While I expected the usual suspects, Pipers, Willets, and the like I also found White Ibis and Snowy Egrets. Both bird types had no fear or thoughts to the waves crashing around them. They are not small but still compared to the rushing water each surge was of tidal wave proportions.
They just let the water break around them and kept searching for food. I could stand in the surf and not move to photograph the Ibis up close. They simply walked around me like I was part of the landscape.
Snowy Egrets were a bit shy, but again we could stay still in one place and they ignored us for the most part.
After spending the day walking through various woods and marshes it was a great change of pace.
These shots were taken at Sanibel Island, Florida. Specifically at the Ding nature preserve. My impression of Sanibel came from years ago at a resort. I thought the entire area was like that. Actually more than half of the entire Island is preserved as a refuge.
What I enjoyed was no hiking required. This was the only place we could use a car. Really, drive along and pull over on the side. It was encouraged. I complied. At this point of the trip I was getting tired.
Lighting was an adventure. Blinding sun was the order of the day. All the inlets were shallow, dead calm, and bright glares.
The Reddish Egret lives along the shore line and shallow flats in the most southern part of the US. Just southern Florida through Texas. Rarely south of Texas so they have a small habitat.
The are tall birds, almost 3 feet high and can be mistaken for a Great Blue Heron at a distance. They also dance on the water similar to Snowy Egrets. This stirs up the mud, and small fish. Its great fun to watch.
When the sun hits them just right they may be the most striking of all the wading birds. At the least as pretty as a Blue Heron.
Tall, wrinkled bald head, big nose. Doesn’t sound very flattering. Overall I don’t think the Wood Stork is much to look at.
However, when they fly a stork is as graceful as an Egret. Long, slow wing strokes pushed them faster than would seem right.
Wood Storks had been endangered but in 2014 they were upgraded to a threatened species. They are the only stork that breeds in North America with small colonies in Florida, Georgia, and now South Carolina.
I only found 2 storks in the Corkscrew swamp. The ones seen were pretty aggressive. That may have been due to the limited water during the dry season or just a disposition to match their looks.
I’m betting if you’re that ugly your attitude isn’t great.