Thursday, February 1, 2018

Crops & Clips: Flashback to February, 2015

This continues my monthly exercise of looking back three years, remembering events and inspiring me to appreciate and enjoy the subtle changing of the seasons in south Florida. My photo archives include 625 images processed that month. As usual I will try to find examples of favorite memes: Birds and critters, sky views and reflections, fences and other interesting scenes which speak for themselves.  We spent much of our time monitoring the fragile relationship between our local male Bald Eagle and his new young partner. 

The first day of February dawned warm and bright over the local wetlands:

Harbour Lake COLOR HDR COREL 20150201

That same day a male Painted Bunting appeared unexpectedly as I was scanning the lake for waterfowl. Although I see a good number of the green females and immature birds, the males seem more reclusive and certainly are much less numerous. It is not a very sharp photo, but luckily my auto-focus ignored the intervening branches:

Painted Bunting 2-20150201

The next day, I was able to focus on a Great Egret as it flew by:

Great Egret in flight 20150201

After it landed, the egret cast a nice reflection:

Great Egret 20150201

Later that morning a Wood Stork was feeding in our back yard lake:

Wood Stork feeding 2-20150202

On February 4 there was an interesting formation of altocumulus clouds, portending a change in the weather:

Altocumulus Clouds HDR COREL 20150203

A pair of Mottled Ducks (female has orange-ish yellow bill vs greenish yellow of male) flew over the lake:

Mottled Ducks in flight 20150223

On February 28, we visited Stormwater Treatment Area 5 (STA-5) in Hendry County, where a large flock of Roseate Spoonbills gathered...

Roseate Spoonbills 2-20150228

...and a group of Black-necked Stilts also visited the pond...

Black-necked Stilts 2-20150228


...as a Snail Kite hovered overhead:

Snail Kite in flight 20150228

Much of our attention was focused on the local pair of Bald Eagles. During the first half of the month the male (Pride) was seen in the company of his new "bride" (Jewel) away from the nest. Jewel seemed not to have any inclination to stay on the nest. On February 11, Pride visited the nest alone and dropped some prey, perhaps in an attempt to attract Jewel to join him:

Bald Eagle male at nest 4-20150211

The nest was observed for over an hour, but Jewel never appeared and Pride finally flew off:

Bald Eagle male leaving nest 2-20150211

During the next week Pride was barely visible, sitting very deep in the nest, possibly incubating one or more eggs, but Jewel never was reported to be present. On February 19 we were watching the nest, thinking it to be empty, when suddenly Jewel flew in. Only after reviewing this photo did I realize that Pride was already in the nest, as the very top of his head can be seen just above the sticks, far to the left (ignore the white object near his bill, as it is a reflection from the nest structure):

Bald Eagle male visible to left 20150219

A moment later, Pride was standing there (on the left) next to Jewel! At the time, we did not know where he came from, thinking he must have flown in from behind unnoticed:

Bald Eagle male and female on nest 2-20150219

Pride then flew off, raising hope that this was an exchange of incubation duties. A single eagle, especially if it is a male, rarely if ever succeeds in hatching out an eaglet:

Bald Eagle male leaving nest 20150219

However, Jewel never settled down and also departed, continuing her habit of roosting away from the nest:

Bald Eagle new female 6-20150227

Although she retained some dark feathers in her tail, her head was almost completely white. Perhaps she was simply too young and inexperienced to start breeding. 

Bald Eagle new female 4-20150227

SPOILER ALERT: The pair did not breed successfully during the 2014-15 season, though they continued to keep company into the next breeding season. Visit the Bald Eagle FORUM to see current and archived reports on the status of this nest, including many photos.


 = = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

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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25 comments:

  1. Always nice to follow your adventures!
    I wish you a serene February.

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  2. I always enjoy your photography. The eagle photos stole the show for me this week!! Have a great weekend.

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  3. Lovely to see what you photographed 3 years ago. pity tht the Bald Eagles were not able to have young that year. Great photographs all round kenneth. Have a super weekend.

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  4. Hello, awesome photos of the Eagle. I love the Spoonbills and Stilts. The Painted Bunting is a favorite too. Wonderful post and walk. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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  5. Hello!:) Wonderful raptor images.:)

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  6. super photos...that bunting is amazing!!

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  7. Always enjoy your photos Kenneth. Each is impressive and so distinct and perfect. Nice reflection of the egret. The wetlands are beautiful. Hope you can help me identify a bird this week on my blog. Thanks.

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  8. It's so wonderful to live near wetlands and have a chance to view so many different birds. We haven't seen the Painted Bunting...yet! Enjoy your weekend!

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  9. Okay...never heard of a snail kite...what a beauty. Love the cloud formation & the bright, beautiful P bunting.

    Again, thanks so very much for sharing all of the feathered nature with us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend.

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  10. Your photographs are amazing! You capture wildlife so beautifully. I've lived in Florida for decades and can hardly get a decent bird shot.

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  11. All your photos are wonderful. And they look so warm and spring-like as I sit here watching it snow. Really enjoyed seeing the Painted Bunting.

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  12. Great photos from three years past. That painted bunting is gorgeous! I had never seen one until we moved to Central TX back in 1999, and loved them the five years we lived there.

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  13. The woodstork looks interesting, as well as the spoonbills. Oh, that story of Pride and Jewel is agonizing! Never thought about it that birds could have breeding problems (you're talking to a city slicker here)! Wow, your first landscape is so razor sharp - envious! I also know though your lenses cost a pretty penny:)
    Thank you for sharing nature's Seasons with us, and thank you for your kind comment. Wishing you and Mary Lou a beautiful week!

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  14. Painted Bunting would have to be in my top ten "I want to see' list. We were sent a kids book about birds by an American friend of mine when my kids were young - I thought that the PB was a practical joke!! Mr. Google showed me the truth!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  15. Wonderful photography. Painted bunting is my favourite.

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  16. Another wonderful series of captures with your lens, Kenneth, especially the majestic Bald Eagles. Thank you for sharing your talents.

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  17. Amazingly beautiful photos. Just incredible!! Thank you.

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  18. Absolutely stunning birds photos...I enjoyed every one. That cloud photo is also pretty special. Enjoy your week ahead.

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  19. The bunting is gorgeous - wish some would fly up our way!
    Thanks for joining us at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/02/some-african-ceremonial-masks.html

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  20. What a great idea to re-visit your own blog, three years on! I am still in my first year, so I'll make a mental note for down the road. Loved all your pictures, but the clouds stole my heart this time!

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  21. The bunting is beautiful, and the eagles..wow!

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