Fantastic Fort DeSoto

I have packed a new suitcase for Florida. Put away are the thermal underwear, the Smart Wool socks, the heavy down coat and the gloves and I had to dig deep into my closet for a new wardrobe…one geared towards much warmer temperatures than that in Yellowstone…I am now in Florida preparing for my evening talk at the Morean Art Center Thursday evening followed by an Excellent Photo Adventure photographing the wild birds of this sunny state. With my friend Joan in tow, off we headed at o’dark thirty this morning in search of subjects. We never even made it to Fort DeSoto before we pulled over to work an eagles nest that has one chick. While waiting for some action at the nest we, worked some of the birds in the pond below the eagle nest. The light reflecting in the pond made for a gorgeous background for the Lesser Scaups…

A couple of male Common Moorhens got into a tussle over a female with feet, feathers and water flying. Low light and a slow shutter speed resulted in a couple of very nice blur motion images that I really like as I feel that the blur conveys motion rather than the stop action of a fast shutter speed…

I always tell my fellow adventurers to watch a preening bird because they will nearly always do a wing flap when they are done and sure enough this cute little pied billed grebe didn’t disappoint…

The male bald eagle flew in and landed close by, spread his wings and proceeded to dry off, not something I have seen an eagle do before. The Anhinga and Cormorant can frequently be found doing this behavior but, I was thrilled to get some new (to me) behavior from an eagle…

After he had dried sufficiently, he got to work cleaning out the nest removing any uneaten fish and flying off with it…

Today was a perfect example of what I love so much about photography, I have photographed at Fort DeSoto for over a decade now and I still come home with new images. Today, rather than working the shorebirds and wading birds that Fort DeSoto is so well know for, we worked a variety of different birds than normal in nice light with beautiful reflections and were fortunate to spend time watching and photographing a pair of nesting bald eagles and their baby. I can’t wait to share this spot with my group next week. Stay tuned.

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-20E III on Lexar digital media