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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Start of a new day, start of a new year

Dawn of a new day on Mount Cadillac in Acadia National Park

Well, 2014 is drawing to a close and sights are locked on our next revolution around the sun. Each morning that I'm able to experience the sunrise leaves me feeling refreshed with the anticipation of a new day, with all the stress of the prior day behind me. In some ways, this last day of year is the same. A chance to reflect on what was and to look forward to what will be. I chose this image from the summit of Mount Cadillac in Acadia National Park as one of my favorite photographs of the year. For me, it embodies that invigorating feeling of the cool morning air and warm first rays of sunshine awakening my senses and nourishing my soul at the dawn of a new day.

Wildlife photographer Pat Ulrich photographing the sunrise in Acadia National Park

I wish all of my followers a happy, healthy, and productive new year -- with as many inspiring moments spent in golden light as you can handle!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sanderling stretching in evening light, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Sanderling stretching in evening light in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

I've been back to Parker River NWR a few times since this October evening with the hopes of having a chance to experience something like this again. Any time spent with a flock of friendly sandpipers is a win in my book, but this particular evening was really special with the colorful reflections of an evening sky.

View more photographs of sanderlings

Monday, December 22, 2014

Barred owl in the forest at sunset, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Barred owl in the forest at sunset in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

I saw a small flock of shorebirds near beach #6 on an otherwise quiet afternoon trip to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. But as I was working my way back up the island I came across a cluster of photographers gathered along the side of the road. As I slowly approached it was easy to see why such a gathering had formed, this beautiful barred owl was perched in clear view at the edge of the forest.

View more photographs of owls and other birds of prey.