Viera Wetlands AM

We awoke early and headed to Viera Wetlands for a quick morning shoot before heading back to St Pete. As we arrived the fog was lifting as the sun burned through giving the scene a mystical look. Wanting to emphasize the feel, I used NIK color Efex Pro 3.0 Midnight to finish the image…

While we were photographing my friend Robert Wicker, who volunteers at the wetlands, arrived to take us to a couple of his favorite locations. He knew of a spot where there were White Pelicans. In addition to their feet and bills becoming more colorful, the males “grow” a bump (“nuptial tubercle) on their bill which they shed after mating. This male was a particularly nice example in breeding plumage…

When the pelicans go into a feeding frenzy, the Cormorants move in to feed on the fish as well giving us some great opportunities for flight shots…

A pair of Great Blue Herons were there and whenever one of the woodstorks came too close he would raise his wings and his head in a territorial display and chase them away…

I was watching an American Coot as it was feeding nearby noticing that each time it dipped it’s head under water it would make circles. I liked the simple pattern…

All too soon the morning was over and it was time to head back to St Pete where I will be photographing with a great group of eager photographers this week. Stay tuned.

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-14E II on Lexar digital media

Brush Fire

We took a break midday and were heading south on I-95 when we saw smoke up ahead. As we drew closer we could see a brush fire going so we pulled off at the Titusville exit to see what was happening. What we found literally tore at my heart as acre upon acre of Wetland nesting habitat was being engulfed by smoke and fire…

It was thought that the fire was started by an arsonist and was spreading rapidly while emergency personnel were unable to get to it to put it out. There were tractors and all kinds of equipment lined up to go to work and they simply couldn’t get to it. They were monitoring it to make sure it did not reach the buildings in Titusville while watching it move both toward the interstate (at the right of the frame) and northwards destroying acre after acre of vegetation and trees in it’s path…

In the time we watched the fire from the top floor of a close by Holiday Inn it burned 40 acres and tonight as I watched the news it had burned over 600 acres and was still burning. They were doing what they could to put it out by helicopter as it was the only way to reach the fire. I simply do not understand what kind of person would purposely set a fire destroying brush, trees and wildlife habitat in the process. We were told this was the third fire in the area in the last three weeks. I certainly hope they catch the person who did this and prosecute them to the fullest!

Images created with Nikon D3s, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II on Lexar digital media

Merritt Island and Viera Wetlands

We spent the morning driving the Blacktail Loop at Merrit Island. Our first encounter was a Snowy Egret who was busy fishing and didn’t [ay any attention to us. Even though the water was a lovely blue, I decided I liked the graphic nature of going B&W uing NIK Silver Efecx Pro 2…

As we photographed the Snowy Egret, a pair of Greater Yellowlegs was working the same shallow water scurrying back and forth. Normally, I prefer the bird to be closer to the edge of the image that it is entering to give it room to move through the frame but, in this case, I liked the wake it was making so, I composed the image with the bird closer to the edge of the frame that it was headed towards…

Due to unusual circumstances (see next blog) the afternoon found us back at Viera Wetlands working the birds in the beautiful afternoon light. I chose to include the reeds in the frame as it gives a sense of habitat as well as making a nice color combination of blue and green as a nice background…

The reeds also made a nice reflection in the water as a Blue-winged Teal swam though…

Tomorrow morning we will return to Viera for the early light. Say tuned.

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-14E II (last two images) on Lexar digital media

Viera Wetlands

With a long day under my belt an early start ahead of me tomorrow and a couple thousand images to edit, I’ll whet your appetite with a few images from Viera Wetlands…

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-14E II (Hooded Mergansers), TC-20E III (Limpkin, Little Blue Heron & Anhinga) on Lexar digital medai