Thursday, May 26, 2016

Egrets in morning light

There is magic in Florida's early morning light. Even in the "blue hour" before sunrise, when tripods and longer exposures might be required, the sky is often bright enough for hand-held photos. White birds always pose a challenge. Stark white feathers are easily overexposed, but dawn's warm light at a low angle can enhance the detail. 

My neighbors' fences are barely visible before sunrise from our back patio:

Sunrisr HDR 20160517

A Great Egret lofts up into the light against the dark surface of the lake

Great Egret in dark HDR 20160716

Sunlight is just touching the lake as another egret dances above the surface:

Great Egret dancing HDR 20160516

Wary as I approach, the egret moves away a bit:

Great Egret takes flight HDR 20160516

The egret's feet barely touch the water and ripples have not had time to disturb the surface:

Great Egret takes flight HDR 02-20160516

Another Great Egret emerges from the seclusion of the reeds...

Great Egret HDR 05-20160716

...and struts out into the open against a backdrop that fades into oblivion at f/4: 

Great Egret HDR 06-20160716

An adult Green Heron occupies a prominent post on a rock:

Green Heron 20160516

The Green Heron watches as a Little Blue Heron ventures near:

Green Heron 02-20160516

Ripples reflect on the feathers of the Little Blue Heron as it peers nearsightedly into the shallows:

Little Blue Heron  02-20160516

The shadows shorten:

Long shadow 20160516

A pair of Common Nighthawks have either a nest or a chick nearby. Overhead, one suddenly turns and swoops down at me, filling the frame. Just above my head, it turns up sharply at the bottom of its dive and its wing feathers create a startling "boom."

 Common Nighthawk 20160517

Common Nighthawk swooping 20160517

A Killdeer, calling loudly, tries to draw me away from a nest along the path:

Killdeer HDR 20160517

In an effort to distract me, one displays its bright tail feathers and feigns a broken wing:

Killdeer HDR 20160405

Now sun plays across the lake; the egret accents the scene:

Egret on lake 20160516

I visit the damaged rookery and find that one of the Green Heron pairs has a second clutch of eggs:

Green Heron Nest No  17.5 2nd clutch 20160515

An adult Green Heron covers the nest:

Green Heron incubating HDR 20160517

Only about six feet away, two Green Heron nestlings are almost ready for flight:

Green Heron nestlings HDR 20160517

Green Heron nestlings HDR 02-20160517

Back at the lake, an immature Green Heron, perhaps one from the first brood, suddenly flies up and I get a lucky shot...

Green Heron imm HDR 20160515

...before it merges into the rushes:

Green Heron imm 2-20160515

Shooting through the grass, I capture the image of a Snowy Egret and its reflection:

Snowy Egret rhrough the grass 20160515

In a pool next to the lake, an immature White Ibis catches something that looks like a cricket:

White Ibis immature 03-20160515

I get close looks at a Gulf Fritillary...

Gulf Fritillary 20160516

...a Brown Anole displaying its dewlap...

Brown Anole 20160516

...and the large, fleshy flower of a Pond Apple (Annona glabra):

Pond Apple flower 20160515

I did not wish to damage the flower, but here is a photo (taken in 2008) of one which had fallen to the ground:

Pond Apple Flower 2008_05_26

Back home on our front lawn, a White-winged Dove gathers sticks for its flimsy nest in our next-door neighbor's tree:

White-winged Dove with stick 20160516

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise

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


  1. ah...enjoyed them all, but I love a cloudy sunrise/sunset

  2. gorgeous. love the egret shots! and cute heron chicks. :)

  3. Absolutely gorgeous series, Kenneth! You have outdone yourself! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  4. What a feast for the eyes here with the progression of what is happening! Your photo skills are phenomenal! Love the reflection of the ibis catch for lunch! it's amazing how birds builds such a handsome nest! And those two green herons look a little scary:) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Schitterende foto's, beautiful photos. I love it so!

  6. Beautiful photography, and wow, what a sky!! Love the colors.

  7. Well you certainly have an amazing view of your neighbors fences. Enjoyed the Egret shots very much as well as all your other birds & that cool looking lizard.

  8. That Egret looks so perfect, yet delicate.

  9. beautiful pictures and in a lovely place you live!

  10. These are so gorgeous photos. You have so many great birds there!

  11. The pond apple is quite interesting.

  12. This is a delightful way to start my morning. Your birds, absolutely stunning. The butterfly and little anole, the same. And the flowers, everything, so lovely. Thank you very much for sharing with Today's Flowers, I appreciate the wonderful support and I wish you a very happy weekend:)

  13. My goodness Kenneth, your photography is stunning as usual. Love the Egret and Heron hsots with their wnderful reflections. Also that beautiful flower. Have a lovely weekend.

  14. Nice shots! You've captured some great reflections and pretty cool shadow too. :-)

  15. AMAZING photos! How exciting, Kenneth--56 years! And to have family and friends with you to celebrate will be wonderful!

  16. WOW!! You have some fabulous images here!

  17. Yoy're right, beautiful early morning light, and such incredible bird pix!

  18. Great pictures as usual. The young heron chick was perhaps my favourite picture, perhaps becuase I have never seen a picture of a heron chick before. Looking at your photo of the egret in flight, I thought that perhaps their necks are made that way, with the kink. I had always somehow thought that they bent them deliberately. But it wouldn't be flying with a bent neck.

  19. A magic morning for sure. Great photos!

  20. absolutely stunning photos!!!!!

  21. These are some wonderful bird shots. I love that some of the photos have the egret in flight in different extents. Your birds are fantastic and fun to see and so well shot.

  22. Hello ken, love the gorgeous sky shot. The birds as always are just amazing, great photos. The Green heron chicks are adorable. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  23. fantastic pics like that guy with hair do on top hah

  24. flimsy nests indeed...I don't see how the eggs can stay in those. But nature has a way that sometimes we humans can't fathom. Outstanding images Ken. Each and every one. I've never seen a 'baby' green heron before today. That was an awesome share. And the egret in the morning light...nearly a rainbow of color on its wings with the sunlight.

    I certainly appreciate your participation each weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'. Your posts and photos are valued. Thanks!!

  25. Lovely photos. I especially love your sky shot and the egret in flight :-) Happy long weekend to you!

  26. Fabulous photos and reflections.

  27. Well worth getting up early. The sky is amazing.

  28. wow! A beautiful sunrise and abundance of birds

  29. I always learn to identify something when I read your blog! I took photos of the small butterfly and now I know what it is! Your photos are wonderful. It's so nice to see so many young ones! Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Diane

  30. Beautiful post. I love the early morning sky and the birds and the butterfly.

  31. Spectacular shots, well captured. Warm greetings!

  32. Marvelous!
    Thank you for joining our weekly photo linky party at

  33. An absolutely fantastic set of pictures. Really enjoyed them all.

  34. You are the best at outstanding nature presentations. This is an awesome piece of work. Well done and THANKS FOR DROPPING BY MY PLACE.

  35. Your photos are amazing! Thanks for visiting

  36. Your photos are always so stunning. The eyes on the Green Heron nestlings are so interesting, almost eerie. The egrets are so beautiful and your shots are amazing. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

  37. Amazing images. Every one. I really enjoyed your post which I found on WBW. Have a great birding and nature day! Greetings Jo

  38. Wow - stunning shots and light.

  39. Beautiful! Every one of them - Beautiful!
    The Great Egret photos are my favorites

  40. Such a wonderful series ... I always feel as if I'm walking along with you .... (And I wish I could. You see so much that I know I would miss even if I were in the exact place).

  41. Fabulous photos! The early morning sky is gorgeous and the white egret so elegant and graceful looking.


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