It Never Gets Old

Honestly, I never get over witnessing such magnificence.  A baby barred owl! I knew it was a barred owl but Walter told me that this is a baby. He was there photographing this beauty, too. He clearly knows his birds and knew this little one had recently fledged. Nice meeting you Walter and thank you for the info!

I've had the opportunity to photograph an adult barred owl in Hammock Park before but this fledgling thrilled me even more. She was a tad nervous but curious! Look at those eyes and talons! Thank you, little one, for allowing us to spend a few moments with you. I hope to see you again.

Speaking of babies, this immature American bittern was wandering very near the baby owl. He was shy and scurried away but not before giving me the pleasure of photographing him. I've read that they are fairly elusive so I'm honored to have had the opportunity to photograph him.

These sweet babies weren't the least bit shy. I fell in love with their sleepy little eyes. 

The babies need to be wary of black snakes lest they become dinner! Black snakes are wonderful to have around though because they will keep rodents and poisonous snakes out of your yard. This snake lives in my yard and she is most welcome. 

The great blue heron doesn't worry about snakes, in fact, snakes are part of their diet! They amaze me and are beautiful in flight.

I spy! So many of these coastal birds are masters of camouflage. I often wonder how many I miss for every one I spot. 

I was riding my trike-bike through Hammock Park, as I do most evenings after dinner, and almost missed this well camouflaged large bird. I couldn't identify her at first.

I got off my bike as quietly as I could and crept around the bird, looking at her from the angles I could access. Wow! Her head is completely buried in her wings! I began to get a clue as to what kind of bird she is. I crept around her for minutes and she didn't budge. I was happy not to wake her.

But, alas, in my excitement, I stepped on a stick and broke it. She startled, awakened from a deep sleep, or so it seemed to me. She spotted me, gave me a short lecture, then relaxed again. Clearly, she is an anhinga. What a treat to watch this bird so closely. Anhingas are also known as water-turkey or snake-bird. It's easy to see why.

The best time to photograph birds is early in the morning or near sunset. In the evenings, we ride into Hammock Park, look for birds, let Pedro (my 18-pound jackahuahua) run, and photograph until the sun is close to setting, then we ride the quarter mile to watch the sun descend in all its glory. It doesn't get any better than this.

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