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Monday, January 30, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Painted Bunting

I just love Painted Buntings, that's why my photo of one is on the cover of our new 'The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America." Painted Buntings winter in the southern half of Florida and may come to bird feeders. One place to see them is at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples, FL.
The breeding range of Painted Buntings includes coastal southeast states, Gulf Coast states and up into OK, KS, AR, and MO. Occasionally they wander out of this area and have even been seen in New England. Wherever you see them you're lucky.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Photos from "Ding"

And here are some more of my photos from Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, FL. You'll be seeing a lot of them, from me, this winter. I was kneeling down at the side of the dike at Ding Darling NWR, my attention on birds out in front of me, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. I acted quickly and got on this Green Heron that zipped by. Tip, always be ready to grab an unexpected photo op.

Killdeers landed on the bank, but only briefly. I knew they would fly, and waited for that moment.

Red-breasted Mergansers were having a good time, bathing and preening. I always get a kick out of how birds that live in the water, then bathe in that water. Then again, the water does not penetrate down into their feathers when they are just sitting on the water. The act of bathing forces the water deeper into their feathers, and helps maintain those feathers.

Wow, Magnificent Frigatebirds are really magnificent. This is a male, with the reddish throat. These birds are usually seen over Sanibel when it's warmer and often on southerly winds. The weather here, as in other parts of the country, has been unseasonable warm for Jan. Hey, I'll take it.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Ding Darling Magic

Today we went to Ding Darling National Wildife Refuge, on Sanibel Island, FL, (where we will be for the winter) and there were spectacular birds and photo ops. Here are some of my favorite photos I shot. This Reddish Egret flew over and we could see a few white feathers on its wing, an abnormality. 

The still water acted like a mirror, hence this wonderful Double-crested Cormorant photo, two for the money. 

White Pelicans were everywhere! At one point we counted 70 circling overhead. This one looked down at me.

There were many hundreds of shorebirds. Dunlins came in for a landing. 

A lone white feather floated on the dark water, like a boat with water drop passengers.

An Anhinga is able to submerge and hunt for fish. Here it is emerging, with concentric rings for a necklace.

The first birders I ran into were readers of my blog! Bev Kaiser, l. and Janet Kirk, r., enthusiastic and fun ladies from nearby Ft. Myers. What serendipity! We had a great conversation and of course, I had to put this photo on the blog.

We met so many nice birders and photographers at Ding today and the birds were fabulous. It's magic there!!!

To learn more about how to photograph birds in flight like these, click here.