Showing posts with label Bunche Beach Preserve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bunche Beach Preserve. Show all posts

Monday, January 11, 2016

Little blue staredown, Bunche Beach Preserve

A straight-on photograph of a little blue heron at Bunche Beach Preserve

Little blue herons have such a great "personality" and this one put on a show for me last spring at Bunche Beach Preserve. I saw it catch a surprising number of fish in this small tidal pool, all the while casting a series of expressive poses. Though, I can't quite decide if this straight-on looks is more comical or stoic.

View more photographs of herons and egrets


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Focused snowy egret, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photograph of a snowy egret hunting in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach

I had only a handful of chances to get outside with my camera this year, but thankfully they were pretty productive. This snowy egret is from a March morning spent at Bunche Beach Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida. It really was almost too easy to get close to the birds there. I would just lie down on the mudflats next to a tidal pool and it wouldn't take long for the birds to start filling it in. The reflections in the slowly rising tide were really fun to play with too.

View more photographs of egrets.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Reddish egret chasing a fish, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photograph of a reddish egret flapping its wings while hunting

On my trip to southwest Florida in March, one of the most exciting species to see, other than the roseate spoonbill I've previously posted, was the reddish egret. This bird was a lifer for me, and we first saw one at quite a distance through a docent's scope at Ding Darling NWR. At the time, I had no idea that I would have the privilege to photograph one at relatively close range each of the next two mornings at Bunche Beach Preserve. They are such a beautiful species, and their goofy running, jumping, and flapping behavior while chasing fish was really a sight to behold. Its comical movements reminded me quite a lot of Big Bird from Sesame Street!

View more of my photographs of egrets and herons.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Willet on a quiet morning, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photograph of a willet in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach Preserve

Warm morning light, still water, and the slow gait of this willet through the shallow tidal pool combine to transport me to a serene setting of quiet solitude. While the beach had plenty of action that morning, this image encapsulates the internal silence I often experience while photographing wildlife.

View more photographs of willets.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Portrait of a juvenile white ibis, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photographic portrait of a juvenile white ibis in Florida

I've been posting a series of photographs lately of tiny juvenile piping plovers, so I thought I'd mix it up with a substantially larger youngster. This handsome bird is a less than a year-old white ibis that I photographed in March at Bunche Beach Preserve in Ft Myers, Florida. Seeing this species is a highlight of any trip to Florida, and we saw probably 20 or so juveniles on a kayaking trip through the mangroves in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Though it wasn't until the next morning that I was able to get a close enough view to see those beautiful blue eyes.

View more photographs of white ibises and other wading birds.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Little blue heron shows off a silver fish, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photograph of a little blue heron that caught a silver fish in Florida

This little blue heron (Egretta caerulea) put on quite a show for me as a watched it hunt for a half-hour at Bunche Beach Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida. It had a terrific success rate as it struck at fish below the surface of the tidal pool. Here, it proudly showed me a full view of its silver prize before quickly swallowing it whole.

Browse more of my photographs of herons and egrets.

This post shared with Wild Bird Wednesday -- follow the link for this week's posts!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Snowy egret amidst snowy reflections, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photograph of a snowy egret hunting in a tidal pool in front of other white birds

The reflections were really fun to work with as the tide was rising in these quiescent tidal pools at Bunche Beach Preserve in Florida. By elevating the camera a little above the water it was possible to capture reflections of an entire bird. When I dropped my lens down to essentially resting on the ground, the reflections became wondrously elongated -- as shown here with this snowy egret in front of a backdrop of white ibises.

Browse more of my photographs of egrets and herons.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Spoonbill reflection, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photograph of a roseate spoonbill reflected in a tidal pool

The smooth surface of the shallow tidal pools at Bunche Beach Preserve made for some nice reflections all morning. It was surprising to experience how quickly the flooding tide rose across the flat expanses of exposed mudflats. I initially placed myself a few yards from the edge of this pond, but after about 15 minutes of photographing this juvenile roseate spoonbill, the water had reached my location. Thankfully, the bird soon opted to fly off to a different pool, making it a much easier choice to stand up before being completely soaked through.

View more photographs of this juvenile spoonbill and other wading birds.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Little blue heron in an infinite sea, Bunche Beach Preserve

Photograph of a little blue heron in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach Preserve

On this morning last March, I had enjoyed photographing wading birds in the warm sunrise light further up the beach at Bunche Beach Preserve. As I was walking back to the car, some high-level clouds moved in and provided wonderful diffuse light for this lone little blue heron as it hunted in a shallow tidal pool. Combining that with a low-angle approach, and this small tidal pool appeared to extend all the way to the horizon.

Photograph of a little blue heron in a still tidal pool in Fort Myers, Florida

View more photographs of herons and egrets


Friday, May 8, 2015

Roseate spoonbill feeding at Bunche Beach Preserve

Roseate spoonbill with bill submerged in water at Bunche Beach Preserve

It was such an awesome experience to be able to watch this young roseate spoonbill at close range in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach Preserve. This species has such an elegant behavior as they rhythmically sway their bill sideways back and forth through the water.

Roseate spoonbill feeding in the shallows in Fort Myers

But in this series of photographs, a sort of goofy expression appeared on the face of this individual while it splashed in the water -- making it all the more endearing to me.

Feeding roseate spoonbill splashes water at Bunche Beach

View more photographs of roseate spoonbills and other wading birds.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tricolored heron on the prowl, Bunche Beach Preserve

Tricolored heron on the prowl at Bunche Beach Preserve, Florida

Herons have such amazing eyes, and they seem to move with such focus. As this one prowled the shallow waters of a tidal pool, I certainly would not want to be a small critter looking up through the surface of the water to see that face staring back at me!

View more photographs of herons and egrets.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Early morning willet, Bunche Beach Preserve

Early morning willet at Bunche Beach, Fort Myers

On my trip to Florida in March, I enjoyed the chance to photograph a variety of bird species that we don't get to see up here in the northeast. But no matter where I am, its hard to pass up an opportunity to photograph a shorebird, even if a plain old willet like this one. What they lack in color and plumage pattern they certainly make up for in character!

Willet with reflection in still water

View more photographs of willets.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Little blue reflection, Bunche Beach Preserve

Little blue heron with prey at the water's edge

I had a lot of fun last month watching the wading birds in the tidal pools of a low tide at Bunche Beach Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida. One of the benefits of getting low next to the water's edge is the fun reflections that develop in the still water.

Little blue heron reflected in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach

It was exciting enough when this little blue heron was working the edge of the pool, but it got even better when it started strolling across the shallows.

Little blue heron looks like its walking on water in southwest Florida

View more of my photographs of herons and egrets


Saturday, April 25, 2015

White ibis eating a crab, Bunche Beach Preserve

White ibis eating a crab at Bunche Beach Preserve, Florida

Continuing my run of posts on wading birds capturing prey from tidal pools, here is a white ibis preparing to swallow a crab. These were perhaps the most interesting feedings to watch, as the crabs had a chance to fight back. With a fish, the birds would very quickly go from capturing to consumption, but it would take a little while to get the crab in the right orientation to swallow it. Especially when the crab used its claws to attempt to hang on to the bill, as is evident in the image below of a different ibis.

Crab hangs on for dear life before being eaten by an ibis

View more of my images of wading birds.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Snowy egret swallows a shrimp, Bunche Beach Preserve

Snowy egret catches a shrimp in Florida

As I commented in my previous post, it was really incredible to see how many different types of prey the wading birds were able to pull from the tidal pools. This snowy egret pulled out a good sized shrimp, then swallowed it whole.

Snowy egret swallowing a shrimp at Bunche Beach

View more of my photographs of herons and egrets.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Tricolored heron with a small striped fish, Bunche Beach Preserve

Tricolored heron with small striped fish

I was really amazed at the volume and diversity of prey I saw the wading birds pulling from the tidal pools at Bunche Beach Preserve. Coming from a northern climate, when I see a pool of water in the sand along a beach, I tend to think that there isn't much caught inside. But down along the Gulf Coast, it seemed like there was an endless supply of fish, crabs, and shrimp for the birds to capture. This tricolored heron pulled a small striped silver fish from the pond, flipped it around to drop out the plants, and then quickly tossed it down the hatch.

Tricolored heron tossing small fish in Fort Myers, Florida

View more photographs of herons and egrets.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

White ibis feeding in a tidal pool, Bunche Beach Preserve

White ibis feeding in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach Preserve, Florida

Continuing my tour through the bird species I saw in Florida last month, here's another favorite that I was excited to photograph -- the white ibis. Even though they are fairly common and have relatively plain plumage, their long bill, blue eyes, and bright facial mask really add some photographic flare. This particular ibis is feeding in a tidal pool at the Bunche Beach Preserve in Fort Myers.

View more of my photographs of white ibis and other wading birds.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Juveline roseate spoonbill at Bunche Beach Preserve

Juvenile roseate spoonbill with water droplet at Bunche Beach Preserve

I saw a ton of birds during my two mornings at Bunche Beach Preserve in March, but the highlight was having a chance to photograph this young roseate spoonbill at close range. I think these birds are remarkable, and it was awesome to have it land in the pool I was watching. At the time it arrived, the morning was getting late and I was feeling content with the images I had captured while the light was really nice. I had actually already gotten up and was preparing to start my walk back to the parking lot when I heard a birding tour guide behind me excitedly tell his group "this is a real treat, a roseate spoonbill just arrived!"

Many thanks to that helpful guide for alerting me to this amazing opportunity! The spoonie landed on the far side of the tidal pool, so I returned to my spot at the near edge, laid back down, and watched through my lens as it came closer and closer. On my prior trip to Ft Myers in 2012, I had seen a small flock of roseate spoonbills at Ding Darling NWR, but unfortunately they were far away with no possibility to get closer. This experience was quite the opposite, with the bird meandering back and forth across the tidal pool coming closer and closer to me with the rising tide. I took a lot of photos of this lone bird, but how could I resist that amazing bill!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Little blue heron at Bunche Beach Preserve

Little blue heron at sunrise on Bunche Beach, Fort Myers, Florida

Well, it may have taken me over 3 months, but I've finally sat down to compose my first post of 2015. I haven't had the chance to use my camera all that much during this very cold winter in Boston, but for a few days over spring break in March I was able to return to Fort Myers, Florida. The trip was primarily to see family, but it was great to have a chance to get outside on two mornings to visit the Bunche Beach Preserve on San Carlos Bay. The density and diversity of birds I saw there was exceptional, far exceeding what I was able to photograph on my first trip there back in 2012. I have a ton of images of all kinds of waders in the tidal pools, including some great encounters with little blue herons like the one in the image above.

View more photographs of herons and egrets