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10/28/09
Florida and New Jersey Backyard birding
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US
Posted by: Ken @ 1:47 pm

I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get a photo of an Osprey diving for a fish. This afternoon, Mary Lou called me to say that a Tricolored Heron was peeking through the back patio blinds. It was probably hunting anoles. I tried to photograph it, but the lens auto-focused on the blinds and I just got fuzzy images of the bird’s feet and neck.

It flew over to our lawn, along the shore of the lake:

Tricolored Heron 20091028

While I was taking its picture I saw an Osprey overhead:

Osprey Overhead20091028

I watched it fly to the opposite side of our lake, then hover and dive:

OspreyHovering 20091028

Osprey Diving 20091028

Osprey Diving 2-20091028

With the camera on 3 exposures per second servo mode, I could not keep it in view. The photos were of substandard quality, but I was pleased to capture the action. I missed the splashdown.

Here, it takes off with some sort of small prey in its talons:

Osprey Takeoff 20091028

In the meantime, A cormorant ambled from our property in to the water, and a Great Blue Heron looked on from a neighbor’s back yard. With the temperature above 90 degrees and the humidity very high, Both were cooling themselves by gular flutter.

Today’s experience contrasted with that last week, when we were visiting my brother and his wife at their home in Little Egg Harbor on the New Jersey shore. It was downright cool.

From their back patio overlooking Great Bay, I photographed this Common Loon:

Common Loon 20091018

At nearby Forsythe/Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge, I obtained a sharp image of a little Savannah Sparrow from the comfort of the automobile:

Savannah Sparrow at Brig 2-20091013

Also at Brigantine, a yellowlegs and a Semipalmated Sandpiper created pretty reflections:

Yellowlegs and Semipalmated 20091014

Hundreds of Black Skimmers lined the beach at Cape May, New Jersey:

Black Skimmers 4-20091012

A Black-bellied Plover stood on one foot at Great Bay in Tuckerton, NJ:

Black-bellied Plover 20091014

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