Birding on New Year’s Day

It has been awhile since I last posted here, but with a new year and a new start, I’m determined to share more photography, more images and especially more Photoshop than ever before.

I started this year with an impromptu family visit with my wife Carol and granddaughter Ava to one of my local favorite spots, Sawgrass Lake Park – a nature preserve located smack dab in the middle of Saint Petersburg. The park has boardwalk trails, a viewing tower overlooking a good size lake, and several waterways (actually canals) surrounding the park. But from a photographer’s perspective, what is has is birds. Sometimes not so many, occasionally a lot. On New Year’s Day, we were fortunate to find a lot! With water levels down, the birds were congregated near the canals and lake, and there were good photos awaiting.

We started out seeing a rather large flock of wood storks, some basking in the grass on the side of the canal and a few foraging in the shallows. With the sun low in the evening sky, and the view of the storks facing fiercely into the sun, it was challenging, but I was able to get some good backlit photos.

Wood Stork, back-lit

Moving on, we spotted a huge variety of water fowl, including several young roseate spoonbills, egrets and herons of all varieties, and even some mallards and marsh hens. But the prize for me was spotting a limpkin wading in the shade of the footbridge, dredging for clams along the water’s edge. Limpkins are local and rare to fairly common in parts of Florida, but aren’t very common in this part of the Tampa Bay area. I was able to get several good photos of him, although I was regretting not having brought my speed light and better beamer flash extender!



All in all it was a good day! For more photos of the birds we spotted, be sure to check my photo stream on Flickr.


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