While scanning the lake I heard the call of a familiar bird. Before I could remember its identity, two Black-necked Stilts flew by and inexplicably turned my way and landed only about 80 feet (25 meters) away. It was about 5 minutes after sunrise with the near shore in deep shadow, so my initial photos were very poor.
I stood in place for about 45 minutes waiting for the sun, and luckily the stilts just loafed and preened. I ended up taking over 200 shots, but only about half were in good light. Although I have had stilts in the patch in previous years, this was the first time I got this close to them.
The earliest usable shots showed a warm glow as light finally swept the shoreline:
The still water provided nice reflections:
So long as I stood perfectly still they paid me little attention, going about their grooming:
After standing still for about 45 minutes my legs started cramping although the sunlight felt good on my back. I took this with my little Canon Powershot SX700 HS. The stilts are barely visible along the shore, to the left:
My reach for the pocket camera put them on alert...
...and they flew up:
Happily, they turned back and alighted on a small submerged bar a bit to the south, not much further away. The slight back-lighting provided pleasant images:
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display
wow, gorgeous shots!ReplyDelete
Beautiful sunrise over the fence!ReplyDelete
And I love the second picture, try
to sell it, it will look very good on
a wall :))
And I like the flying ones also :)
Have a beautiful walking day ;)
You had a grand session Ken with these elegant long legged waders. I enjoyed viewing your images as our Black-winged version is very much a rarity in my land-locked home County.ReplyDelete
Whilst we all like to get quality clear images under a blue sky I do very much like the 1st still shot against the early am subdued lighting.
Really gorgeous photos. We get the Black-necked Stilts here in the summer months. They hang out at Bowdoin NWR. Your first photo of the sunrise is breathtaking!ReplyDelete
awesome shots, from the sunlit peek at the gate to the gorgeous stilts and their reflections! thanks, ken!ReplyDelete
Gate-henge! I love it! And incredibly beautiful photos of the stilts! Wow!ReplyDelete
I like reading about other people's cameras, too.
Love those long legs!ReplyDelete
Great crispy clear bird shots. I like them.ReplyDelete
Phenomenal pictures of this gorgeous bird. There are perfect bird guide ID photos and there are some illustrating their behaviors, and most of them worthy of being called fine art. The light, the reflections, and the perfect colors of the bird! Thank you for your patience and for sharing!ReplyDelete
Another stunning series of shots Kenneth. That opening shot of the sunrise is brilliant - thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Those birds are so pretty. Lovely refectionsReplyDelete
wow- fantastic bird shots in so many perfect posesReplyDelete
Exceptional beautiful pictures !ReplyDelete
Great birdshots with beautiful reflections. Thanks for showing.ReplyDelete
Keeping still really paid off with these incredibly beautiful images. Loved them all!:)ReplyDelete
Que de merveilles ! :0)ReplyDelete
Pretty captures of the stilts and their reflections! Thank you for linking up, happy weekend!ReplyDelete
The reflections make those legs go on forever.ReplyDelete
Hi what a cracking set of images if this very beautiful bird Hope you have a great weekend.ReplyDelete
Wonderful shots. I love those long-legged waders.ReplyDelete
Fabulous pictures and a great bird.ReplyDelete
Love the long red legs on these beautiful birds!ReplyDelete
Beautiful photos! I love the soft morning light and the reflections.ReplyDelete
Great set of shots - life is always easier when the birds come to you!ReplyDelete
Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne
Extraordinary Ken. ALL of the photos. Wow.ReplyDelete
Thanks for adding your link to this post for the weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'!!!
Superb birds photographed superbly!ReplyDelete
Their delicate appearance belies their ferocity once they have young to protect.
Thank you for sharing, Ken! Love that sunrise!
These are stunning shots of the bird life in your area. We have a bird sanctuary where I live but I'd have to drive a considerable distance to get there. I'm hoping to do that one day but it won't be for awhile yet. I don't get too many birds in my garden and the ones that visit fly away before I could ever hope to get a good photo with my inexpensive camera. Happy birding.ReplyDelete
Phenomenal photos... I've never seen such a beautiful creatures...ReplyDelete
Fantastic shots of such lovely bird.ReplyDelete
Creative shots of a fascinating bird!ReplyDelete
Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol
Amazing pics of the stilts. You have a lot patience. You waited until the light was better and made the most of it.ReplyDelete
Back again. I don't usually beg for comments on my blog, but because of all the work you're doing and your expertise, I'd really love to hear your thoughts about the Fort Myers eagle cam....if you have a few minutes.ReplyDelete
In reply to Sallie:ReplyDelete
We have been monitoring a Bald Eagle nest in Pembroke Pines, Florida over seven breeding seasons. It is the first active nest in Broward County since before 1970 and is about 1 1/2 miles from our home. Ground observers post their observations at the link "Bald Eagles of Broward County Florida" in the right panel of my blog page. This past October the original female of the pair disappeared, and in early December the male brought in a new young (4 year old) companion. They have mated but she either failed to lay eggs or was too inexperienced to start incubation. Since we do not have a nest camera we cannot be sure about this.
We often have seen immature eagles enter the nesting territory. We assume most are young from previous broods (they have had 13 known eaglets, of which 11 fledged successfully). The original adults defended their territory and sometimes both would drive away any intruders.
When an eagle loses its mate it will look for a new one, as happened with our pair. It is said that the male is more faithful to the nest site than the female and will try to bring the new mate into his territory, whereas the female may be more apt to follow a new male if he has an established territory. However, it is impossible to predict what will happen in individual cases, such as with Ozzie. If he stays away too long he may have trouble rejoining his mate if she has found a new beau in the meantime. I doubt she would abandon the care of her offspring. Both male and female actively take part in incubation, brooding and feeding of the eaglets. Our local eaglets usually remain at or near the nest for 6-8 weeks.
After fledging, eaglets usually are lured back to the nest to be fed for the first few weeks. They increasingly follow a parent and learn to forage for themselves. The youngsters in south Florida generally fly north around June and return in early winter. They may travel quite far, into North Carolina and Chesapeake Bay, even up into New England in at least one case. Fish stay closer to the surface when the water is cool, so going north makes sense, just as the northern Bald Eagles fly south to find open water. Since they are not as skilled at hunting they may join vultures in eating carrion, so motor vehicles are a particular cause of mortality in younger eagles.
We have had two abortive attempts to install nest cameras. There are particular logistical problems with our nest as it is quite high and it would be costly and labor intensive to establish electrical and broadband service. Failure to obtain funding ended both efforts. My heart is not in having a nest camera, as there is a particular thrill in observing the eagles as free-flying wild individuals. If you visit our FORUM you will see how much we can learn just from ground observations.
Bald Eagles of Broward County Florida
Your patience paid off. Great shots!ReplyDelete
Wow, what a bunch of wonderful photos! Awesome.ReplyDelete