Sunday, June 2, 2013

Brown-headed Ducks??

For the life of me, I can't seem to find an ID on the internet and in any of my bird books for these ducks. I've never seen ducks that look like this before. They are beautiful, and there's soon going to be more of them around judging from the activity I witnessed at the park the other day.

I found them at the Tomlinson Complex Park in Gulfport, FL. They were swimming around on a little pond alongside the skateboard park. I followed them until I could get a clear shot of them for identification.

Can anyone help me ID these ducks?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) are not only beautiful flowers that smell magnificent, but they are also very interesting. Their stamen are like little flowers in themselves. Unfortunately, Magnolias only bloom for one day, leaving brown, dry petals, which are not quite as pretty as the petals were the day before.

However, the stamen stay to become beautiful soft, red cones which last a very long time. I've never picked up one to see if they are fragrant which makes me wonder why I've never thought to do that before.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Little Blue Heron

This Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) has his work cut out for him if he thinks he's going to find his breakfast easily in this Duckweed (Lemnacae). He looks pretty determined, though. I guess if you're hungry enough, you can remain focused.

This photo was taken the same place as the Red Hibuscus from yesterday's post. I still can't remember where I was. I'm beginning to think it was somewhere in Bradenton, FL near my work.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Red Hibiscus

I found this Hibiscus somewhere in my travels. I can't remember where I shot it. All I know is I also shot a beautiful Little Blue Heron, who was in a pond covered with Duckweed. I only took it a month ago, but I can't remember where I was.

That's really not like me at all. I haven't gone anywhere to shoot except for a park that I just found 4 blocks from my Aunt's house, home and work. I also shot a Swallow-tailed Kite. It's a fairly decent shot, but nothing to write home about. It's the first time I saw one. I wish I could remember where I was because I'd like to find that Swallow-tailed Kite again for a better chance at getting a better shot of him.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pardon my ignorance, but even when I look up the different species of Roses, I can't tell one from another. Maybe one of you can give me a name for this one, I'd be able to attach a caption. This one was on a tall bush or tree on the shore of a pond in Tomlinson Park Complex in Gulfport, Florida.

The entire bush was in bloom, yet there was no fragrance emitting from it even when I went up close to the flowers. It took a while to isolate just one bloom against the sky. I love how that pink pops out against the sky. Whenever possible, I try to photograph flowers this way; it enable me to have a nice, clutter free background.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

The Ruddy Turnstone gets its name for the way he hunts for food. He turns over stones (not quite this big, though) looking for insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. The plumage shown here is his Winter plumage. In the Summer, their plumage on their back becomes a dark orange-brown color, hence the name "Ruddy".

Ruddy Turnstones are now classified as being in the Sandpiper family, but years ago it was classified in the Plover family. In the US, this bird is highly migratory and ranges from Washington State and Massachusetts coastlines to the southern part of Chile in South America.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Willet (Tringa semipalmata)

The Willet is a member of the Sandpiper family. Since I am also a Willet on my mother's side, does that make this my cousin? Am I a Sandpiper?
Somehow, I don't see the resemblance. I know I'm leaving myself open to many jokes, but seriously does this explain my love of shore birds?

All kidding aside, the Willet is the only North American sandpiper whose breeding range extends southward into the tropics. They can usually be found alone accompanied by more Sandpipers. They are territorial and will fiercely defend their feeding and nesting territory.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is probably the most photographed bridge in this area. It is a little over 4 miles long and spans Tampa Bay. The bridge connects Pinellas County and Manatee County, passing through Hillsborough (waters) County in Florida. The bridge is 431 feet high, with a clearance of 175 feet. It was completed in 1987 after the old bridge was hit by a ship.

The Travel Channel has rated the Sunshine Skyway as #3 out of the top 10 bridges in the world. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ahhhh Lunch!

When I shot this image, I never realized that this Snowy Egret had anything in his mouth. Once I got it on my computer, I noticed the snake in his mouth. No wonder he was all frazzled. I watched and shot him for about 15 minutes and he still didn't have it in his tummy. 

Meanwhile, another Snowy Egret caught a fish, and this greedy fellow decided he wanted that too! He didn't get the fish, so he was forced to keep on struggling with this snake. 

This is the cropped version of the original image. The whole image shows the two Snowy Egrets about to fight over the fish. I'll save that for a later date.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Southern Magnolia blossom.

You always know when you're in the South when you spot Magnolia trees. Magnolias are one of the most fragrant flowers and they're fragrance can be smelled all over the yard. Even the bark of their trees are fragrant. They were named after the French botanist, Pierre Magnol. 

The Magnolia is the state flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana. 

Magnolias are ancient flowers, so ancient that fossils have been found dating to 20 million years ago--before the arrival of bees.