Thursday, March 15, 2012
The three bird species that I most wanted to photograph on my trip to Florida were roseate spoonbills, black skimmers, and wood storks. Before my trip I had heard about the large flocks of skimmers that roost on the beaches around Fort Myers and Sanibel, and I was definitely hoping to be able to find them. I'm fascinated by these beautiful and interesting birds, and I had seen them only a few times in northern California (and always at quite a distance). For my first morning of the trip, I headed to Bunche Beach in Fort Myers, and a large flock of skimmers was hanging out on a sand bar out on the tidal flats. They were mostly quiet, with a few going through a morning routine of preening at the edge of the water, but anytime some new birds would approach to land, a loud ruckus broke out. Here in this shot, a skimmer that is out of the frame approached too close to this particular bird's stretch of beach, which gave me a great chance to capture the beauty of its beak.
As for the wood storks, I had a chance to see a pair at Ding Darling NWR, but the conditions only allowed for documentary photographs of them. Unexpectedly, my best look at wood storks came as we were driving back to the airport before I flew out. There were a few of them right along the road, and it was really cool to briefly see them up close as we drove by.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I've been fascinated by these birds ever since I first saw them in a nature documentary (perhaps the fabulous "Life of Birds" with David Attenborough), and have been itching to get them in front of my lens ever since I started getting into bird photography. Their range is supposed to be just in Southern California, but for a long time I had seen posts of the colony of these guys that live down in Redwood City at the Radio Road Ponds. Unfortunately, it took me a few years to finally take a trip there.
This is a fantastic location for all kinds of water birds (more about the species I saw in future posts), and you could get close enough to do some nice photography too. While the fading light was nice while I was watching other birds, it just happened to stay foggy while I was near the skimmers -- but regardless, it was still a lot of fun to have them in front of the lens. They were mostly interested in napping and a little bit of preening, so a good reason to go back for more in the future.
You've gotta love those bright bills with that oversized underbite.