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.
Wildlife photography is what I do. Maybe I’m in a rut, maybe it’s a specialty. Whatever it is most all my photos involve animals.
I have friends, photographers, that feel the same way about sunsets. They live on the shore and beautiful sunsets happen often. I love their work, unfortunately I rarely get to an area open enough to even practice a shot like that.
Several evenings while we were in Florida we closed the day at the Gopher Tortoise preserve. A beautiful beach included.
I was able to shoot unbelievable sunsets, some of my favorites birds, and with no hiking or bugs. Not bad.
While in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida I was told by a ranger all the Hawks I might find would be Red Shoulders. He said it was pretty rare to see any other type in that area.
Coming from Connecticut I found that strange. We must have 10 – 15 different kinds of Hawks. In fact I had only seen a Red Shoulder up close this past winter.
We hiked through swamps, pine forests, and saw grass marshes and I must have seen Red Shoulders 2 or 3 times each day. They appear to have acclimated to most all the Florida terrain. However I don’t remember seeing any on the shore line. Ospreys are very territorial so most likely they drive them away.