Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Florida Again - Naples Beach

Just back from another great trip to Florida - this time the Gulf Coast at Naples.  Not so much photography, but as always a chance to get snaps of some new species or better ones of those i've seen before.
The pick of the shots were taken on Naples beach where Sanderling, Willet, Snowy Egret and several species of tern wandered happily amongst the sunbathers. 
Why fly when you can just walk around the people?


Snowy egret

Royal tern (see top also)

Sandwich tern
Fosrter's tern
Pelican cleaning bill

Ruddy Turnstone
It wasn't only birds at the beach, though.  Walking the strand we came across the following sight....
If you look in the centre of the next shot you get another clue ........
Guessed?  A cownose ray.  Several in fact working the shoreline
I saw a shoal of about 15 of these when I was fishing from the pier one day, although I didn't catch any.  Someone else caught by far and away the biggest fish I have ever seen on the end of a line though.  It's hard to get the scale here - the concrete is the main support for the pier - and we are looking at several hundred pounds of fish ..................
A well-named Goliath Grouper.

More shots of these and others in the web album HERE

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Tavernier: The rest of the upper Keys

Most of my shots from the upper Keys were taken where we stayed at Tavernier, but included below are also a few from the John Pennekamp state park (actually as this is an underwater park the pictures are from the land-based section!), and some of wild birds at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre, where each afternoon they feed pelicans and whatever herons, etc that come in. Although numbers were down due to the easy pickings from all the cold-killed fish, that probably only helped the photography by keeping the field of view less cluttered.
First the remainder from our resort:
Double crested cormorant having a grump.
Double crested cormorant
There was a small marina on the site - you can see the narro0w channel in running in from left to right here ........Tavernier
and get a feel for how narrow it was here (yes that little channel to the left).Tavernier
So imagine my surprise one day when I found this surfacing in the middle of the marina! Dolphin
I could see it swimming underwater and so was able to catch the moment it surfaced.
The marina was a good spot to watch the mullet and other fish - like this sort of mini barracuda -Marina fish although it was the crabs with the spider like grip that surprised me most.Marina crab

At dusk each day some people would feed the feral cats (despite all the warnings not to) and this guy (or girl) would join them for a snack. I was able to watch it at ground level, but not having a decent flash with me the shots I took were pants - yes even worse than this one from our balcony!Raccoon
Sitting on the balcony one day I saw 3 birds flying towards us. By the time I realised what they were and ran to grab the camera they were just going past. No time for adjustments it was a point and hope job, so forgive the snatched view of this Magnificent Frigatebird.Magnificent frigatebird
One of the cold mornings at the marina led to me finding this iguana. IguanaIIguana
I didn't handle it, but it was clearly literally stiff with cold. As the sun came around it gradually thawed and showed signs of life, It was lucky - this was the last of the cold days, but many died during the cold snap.Iguanaand Iguanathen when I wandered away for a short time it was gone - who knows where.
But mainly it was birds - this little grey gnatcatcher near the osprey nest ............Blue grey gnatcatcher
the northern cardinals making use of the marina facilitiesNorthern cardinalNorthern cardinal
Northern cardinal
and the spotted sandpiper working alomng the rocky edges.Spotted sandpiper
Many mornings a group of white ibis could be seen working the mangrove margins, White ibis
but the best views were seen near the Wild Bird Rehab Centre.White ibis
White ibisWhite ibisAlso White ibis
Also there good views of this snowy egretSnowy egret
wood storkWood stork
and the brown pelicansBrown pelican
Brown pelican
Brown pelican
Brown pelican
Brown pelican
Brown pelican
White ibis were ubiquitous. Anyone who has been to the Florida theme parks will have seen them working the cafe tables like London pigeons, but this bird at John Pennekamp was the cheekiest I saw!White ibis
Also there looking for a snack was a turkey vultureTurkey vulture
and to finish another bird that cropped up everywhere - the red-bellied woodpecker.
Red bellied woodpecker
Red bellied woodpecker
Red bellied woodpecker