Thursday, April 13, 2017

Crops & Clips: Birding bonuses


We venture out on the local wetlands before sunrise nearly every morning. As the rainy season approaches we must keep an eye on the weather.

Rain threatened on April 10:
Pine Bank before sunrise 20170410
The next morning, skies were crystal clear. About fifteen minutes before sunrise (and only a half hour after it officially became "full"), the Pink Moon was plunging into the lake. Note the shadow of the earth a few degrees above the distant horizon. 


The moon is not really pink, but it was so named by Native Americans because it signaled the spring season when Pink Phlox would blanket the landscape. The pink in the atmosphere in this photo is probably due to the presence of ash and smoke particles produced by a nearby wild fire:

Pink Moon setting 20170411


Depending upon the season, the  birds we see are mostly predictable. I never have high expectations but am open to discovery and simply enjoy the sounds and sights of the birds and other wild things as they awake and welcome the cool morning air. Yet, almost every morning offers an opportunity to see something new.
 

A Gray Squirrel, perched on a neighbor's fence munching on an acorn, wishes us luck as we pass by: 

Gray Squirrel 20170228 
 
One morning this past week I was photographing two pairs of Green Herons as they cooperatively built their nests. One member of each pair (presumably the female) sat on the nest site and accepted sticks which were gathered by her mate:
Green Heron at nest 3-20170406
Green Heron at nest 2-20170406
This pair took a break and cuddled up:
Green Herons building nest position 24 20170409
There were some tender interactions as the sticks were brought in and put in place. Here, a male presents a small stick to his mate as she stands over her newly laid first egg:
Green Herons on egg position 6 2-20170409
Green Herons tender moment position 6 2-20170409
She accepts it and he gives her a friendly peck:
Green Herons tender moment position 6 20170409
Usually shy and reclusive, a Pileated Woodpecker landed on the ground near me and searched for some sort of food at the base of a Live Oak. The bird's red forehead and face stripes identified it as a male. Before he was startled by my movements, he provided a brief photo opportunity:
Pileated Woodpecker 02-20170409
Pileated Woodpecker 03-20170409
Pileated Woodpecker 05-20170409
The Cattle Egret, pure white for most of the year, gave us a treat as it took
on new bright orange plumes at the height of breeding season:
Cattle Egret 01-20170407
Cattle Egret pair 05-20170407
The Bald Eagle chicks escaped a threat to their safety. A major fire broke out in the Everglades Preserve, only about 3 miles west of our home. Smoke darkened the sky overhead until the winds shifted away from the nest area. This is the view from the site of the eagle nest:
Everglades fire from eagle nest 03-20170407
The eaglets are safe and sound. This is the larger of the two, probably a female and the older. Female Bald Eagles hatch from the first egg about three times more frequently than males and are larger than males in all stages of life:
Bald Eaglet older 9 weeks of age 20170407
The female parent was roosting nearby. Her feathers are worn and stained:
Bald Eagle female Jewel 04-20170407
Common birds provide new perspectives on their beauty. A Killdeer wheels over the lake:
Killdeer in flight 2-20170406
A Blue Jay musters its troops to gather and face some real or imagined threat: 
Blue Jay 01-20170406
A close look at a Florida Tree Snail exposes its beauty. True jewels of nature, they may show all the colors of the rainbow, and no two are exactly alike:
Florida Tree Snail 20170329

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =
Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni


Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart


Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Gosia

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James


Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

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Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display
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35 comments:

  1. I love your critters...but I am drawn to a nice skyline

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  2. Wonderful!
    Love the Squirrel on the fence. Glad the Eagles are safe. Great photos of the Woodpecker!
    Happy Easter!

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  3. Marvelous photos of our 'feathered friends' ~ especially the male and female interacting with pecking ~ sweet ~ thanks,

    Wishing you a Happy Day ~ ^_^

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  4. Beautiful series of birds, Kenneth, and the snail and squirrel are gorgeous!

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  5. Oh your little gray squirrel on the fence is so cute.
    Loved your bird shots, so happy the eagles are safe. Would love to someday see one of thos Piliated Woodpeckers in real life, they are cool looking. Very pretty pink sky shot.

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  6. Wonderful variety of critter shots! I think my fav is the woodpecker.

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  7. Those sky photos look amazing and sharp bird photographs those are! Thank you for sharing these beautiful creatures. Birds here in the Philippines are smaller than those, well those that I usually see in our town.

    Steve

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  8. Hello Mr. Kenneth
    As always his photos are fantastic and the animals are very beautiful.
    Congratulations!
    You live in Miramar in Florida, but this name means in the Portuguese language; Looking at the Sea. Do you know that there is in Portugal, a locality with a beautiful beach and an interesting chapel with the same name of Miramar?
    A Holy Easter for you, for your family and friends.

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  9. Impressive shots! I love the color in the reflection photo!

    "Still cannot find you or your camera!"

    Look again, the dark round out of focus thing at the bottom middle of the photo is my lens. It was angled upaward and actually touching the column and that's my hand next to it. (right side). Sadly they are blocking the reflection of the altar.
    Hope this helps. :-)

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  10. glorious series of photographs!

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  11. These are some fantastic feathered friends! We don't have quite the variety of beauties that you have so I'm excited that you shared all these great images!

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  12. Thanks for stopping by and letting me find your beautiful blog, Kenneth. These photos are amazing. I think the Egret is my favorite of today's gallery.
    Amalia
    xo

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  13. Hello, beautiful sky captures. I love all the birds, it is too hard to pick a favorite they are all wonderful. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! Happy Easter to you and your family!

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  14. We are so dry here and I hope they get all the fires put out soon. I don't think I've ever seen a Cattle Egret with that much color and I love seeing the pair of green herons. Enjoy your weekend!

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  15. Love that your pink moon is truly pink even though it isn't supposed to be....beautiful shot! Gorgeous green heron photos, and pileated.

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  16. Great post! I love the pink sky and the birds are marvelous!

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  17. That woodpecker is great - but I really like the squirrel on the fence as well.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  18. Love your pink moon shot...and I'm a sucker for squirrels!

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  19. That Tree Snail is incredible!
    Love the birds, especially seeing the nesting Green Herons. Hope the fire has been extinguished!!

    Thank you so much for linking in at I'd Rather B Birdin' and sharing this with us over the weekend this week.

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  20. I love all your photos , particularly the Cattle Egrets and the Bald Eagle, but mostly the Pileated Woodpecker, probably because I haven't seen one.
    All the best Gordon.

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  21. Gorgeous photos! The cattle egret is lovely!

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  22. Wonderful photos! Especially the bird couples!

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  23. Your nature shots are always so wonderful and today is no exception

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  24. It's easy to see how much you love nature and its critters, the making of the nest, the wood pecker (who we have seen in our yard), and the cattle egret with their orange feathers strike me as funny (I could see them as cartoon figures). As a previous city dweller I really appreciate all the things I could not learn or discover in the city!
    Thank you for sharing all your knowledge with All Seasons - we are richer for it! Hope you had a happy Easter and wish you two a beautiful week!

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  25. Another spectacular series of photographic captures Kenneth. Got to love that squirrel! The Cattle Egret are really quite spectacular. Thank you for once again sharing the results of your early morning forays!

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  26. What a fantastic series of photos but I have to say that the cattle egrets are spectacular! I've never seen them before so I'm really glad you shared them :)

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  27. Wonderful serie of photos. I really like your birdphotos. Thank you.

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  28. Great photos! I did not know cattle egrets had orange breeding plumage - amazing! It is always a joy to see herons. Glad the eagles are safe. Love the squirrel!

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  29. Wow! A bonanza of beautiful bird shots!
    Thanks so much for joining the party at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/04/making-dangerous-situation-kid-friendly.html

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  30. So many wonderful birds! I particularly love the Bald Eagle and the woodpeckers.

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