Yesterday’s weather was a little cooler than it has been the past week or so and the forecast was rain beginning around 11 am in Lakeland. We didn’t make up our mind to go until early this morning and Tony & I are both glad we decided to go despite the possibility of showers. We arrived on site at Circle B Bar Reserve at 7 am and were all set up and walking towards the main ponds by 7:15 am. I’m not sure how many miles of trails there are on the Preserve but each time we go we walk at least three miles, probably more, and that’s with the added 30-40 lbs of camera gear and photographer’s vests we both load up before we head off. We even brought jackets with us yesterday in case of rain and I also brought my AquaTech waterproof lens and camera cover……just in case.
Thankfully, the forecasted rain tracked north of Lakeland and we stayed relatively dry with the exception of a few sprinkles. Of course, had we both not been prepared, it likely would have bucketed down. We spent quite a bit of time at one of the main ponds photographing a bunch of wood storks foraging for food. Quite some distance away, I spotted the above belted kingfisher buzzing in and out of the water in search of his breakfast. I added my 2x extender to my 600mm lens and got a pretty good composition from a distance which is a little further away than I usually like to focus on…..(pun intended) :). We stayed by the main ponds for about an hour before deciding to check out Marsh Rabbit Run again. We saw quite a few birds along here on our way towards Lake Hancock as well as a couple of huge alligators that were pretty well concealed in the tall grasses.
A dead calm pool of water at the edge of Lake Hancock was the location for this snowy egret shot. The only way to tell there is any water in the shot is by looking at the small stick in the reflection of the snowy egret. The cloud like blurry bits in the top right corner of the image are not clouds at but out of focus branches from a bush between me and the snowy egret.
This little green heron held this pose for about 5 minutes as it looked closely at the water which is just outside the frame at the bottom. I waited and hoped to get a shot of him catching dinner but he got bored I guess and flew off to another location nearby. I used a flash with Better Beamer attached and you can see the catch light in the eye when viewing the larger image.
I found this colorful tricolored heron in the same still pool of water as the snowy egret. I tried to wait until it’s leg was completely out of the water as it high stepped through the pool in search of food. Flash with Better Beamer used for this shot as well. All images processed in Photochop CC using Nik Software.
Chris is still up in Nova Scotia with her dad but hopes to be home in another week or so.