When the birding action slows down during these Dog Days of summer, there is no lack of interesting things to see, hear and photograph in our local south Florida Wounded Wetlands. The oppressive heat limits our time out in the open, but we minimize the inconvenience by getting out early every morning unless there is a threat of rain.
The low light presents photographic challenges. I set my camera for flight shots in the hope that an overhead bird may catch some of the morning light. Just as the sun was rising, I underexposed this low-flying Green Heron which stood out against a dark background:
While Mary Lou likes to walk the 3 mile round trip at a brisk pace, I plod along, stop, look and listen. Usually I meet her as she is heading home while I am only about halfway into the wetland preserve.
Here she is, a blue dot heading home a little after sunrise on a clear and calm morning:
We continued to experience the effects of Saharan dust. Mornings were sometimes rather murky but before sunrise the dust particles turned the light of the rising sun to pink and projected sunbeams all the way across the sky to the opposite horizon:
Some mornings the only bird we heard singing was a Carolina Wren. Usually they hide down in the understory and are hard to find, but once a pair sang a duet out in the open. The male warbled sweetly and the female finished each phrase with a trill. The male looked disheveled as if wet or starting to molt, but his spirits were not dampened:
The female waited for her mate to finish...
...and energetically added her coda:
The first Blue-gray Gnatcatchers appeared on August 12. Although their breeding range extends down into south Florida we do not see many of them from spring into late summer. They do become abundant during the winter. These may be early migrants from further north:
One flew in so close that its tail did not fit in the frame:
As if to accommodate my long lens, it flipped its tail out of view:
There was a sudden emergence of White Peacock butterflies. They quickly damage their wings, fighting and chasing after mates, so it was nice seeing some perfect specimens:
Standing in one spot, I photographed three butterfly species within one minute-- a Tropical Checkered-Skipper...
...a Phaon Crescent...
...and a tiny Three-spotted Skipper:
A bee-like Hoverfly species did not escape notice:
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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
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display