I put on quite a few miles last week as I headed first to Florida to spend a few days with my Mom and Dad and then to Salt Lake City to enjoy the Easter festivities with my in-laws. One of the great things about visiting my parents is that they live in the middle of an area that is protected for bird life. The big excitement this time was the bald eagle pair that had built a nest in a tree just across the street. We spent many wonderful minutes watching through the telescope as the two young eaglets were fed their meals. I didn't have the proper camera equipment with me to capture any great eagle photos but I did get some pretty good shots of some of the other residents.
This guy to the left was my biggest surprise of the trip. I was walking on the raised boardwalk one morning when I heard a loud commotion right under my feet. Out ran this not-so-little guy. There was no one else anywhere in sight and so for a few wonderful moments it was just the two of us watching each other warily in the overcast morning light. I was totally intrigued. It seemed obvious he was a juvenile of some type but I really couldn't identify the species. It wasn't until I returned home and could look in the bird book that I discovered I was eye to eye with an immature yellow-crowned night heron. That makes him the second night heron I have ever seen in my life.
A few minutes later as I headed back along the boardwalk to reach the street I looked down to see this green heron just a few feet away in the mangrove. He seemed quite unimpressed by my presence and sat patiently as I snapped a number of photos. I love the detail in his feathers. This is one I think I will have to paint.
On the way back to the house I saw this Great Egret fishing in a lake alongside the road. I was struck by the incredible green in his face patch. Why have I never noticed that before? I also love the pattern of the water in this shot.
The last photo is of the sunset at the beach off Anna Marie Island. I am thankful to the seagull who picked that moment to fly in front of my lens.