Landing Pelican


photograph of a brown pelican landing on a beach on the Florida Gulf Coast

I tracked this Brown Pelican in my camera as it came soaring in from the Gulf Of Mexico.  As luck would have it the pelican decided to land on the beach just in front of me.  There’s no substitute for being in the right place at the right time.

Hovering Forster’s Tern


photograph of a Forster's Tern hovering above the Gulf Of Mexico

Forster’s Terns soar above the water hunting for their prey.  When they see a potential target they hover briefly to take a closer look.  One they’ve decided to pursue their target they dive, nearly straight down, and splash into the water to make the catch.  This one was eyeing a possible meal above the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Resting Willets


photograph of three Willets resting on a beach in Florida

Willets are pretty common along the beaches of the southeastern United States, at least during the winter months.  I sat on a Gulf Coast beach in Florida and watched a fairly large flock resting well above the water line.  The pictures I took of the larger group didn’t really do much for me.  They were simply too busy.  This smaller group of three made for a much cleaner composition.

Snowy Egret and Sandal


photograph of a Snowy Egret standing on a sandy beach next to a sandal

When I first saw this Snowy Egret it was at the edge of the water and I was walking along the beach.  As I approached it flew around a bend before I could snap a single picture of it.  I snuck around some vegetation and took a few photographs of it wading just off the beach.  Fully expecting it to fly away at any second, I remembered a tip I once heard about photographing shorebirds.  Sometimes they seem to be less concerned if you’re actually in the water with them.  So I slowly began wading out into the water and the egret didn’t even seem to notice me.

The same bird that took flight when I approached it from land actually began coming towards me while I stood in the water with it.  I was still wading when it decided to head back to the beach, probably no more than 15 yards from me.  I’ll never know if being in the water put the egret at ease but it definitely allowed me to change my position relative to the subject.  As a result I was able to get several pictures that were much more interesting than the ones I took while it was wading and I was on the beach.


Teenage eagles

Immature bald eagles are like teenagers, always bullying each other, sometimes for no apparent reason! The eagle on the top here came and rolled the one on the bottom who was just standing there minding his own business. They didn’t get hurt, but the poor little guy did roll over and over a few times. Maybe it’s there way of play fighting.

Rough Stink Bug on Ficus


macro photograph of Brochymena arborea, rough stink bug, on a ficus leaf

I believe our subject is Brochymena arborea, also known as the Rough Stink Bug.  After photographing it I did a little research and was surprised to learn there are several beneficial species of stink bugs, the Rough Stink Bug being one of them.  While many stink bugs feed on plants and cause crop damage there are also species, such as this one, that prey on caterpillars and other crop damaging insects.

Virginia Integrated Pest Management published the Field Guide to Stink Bugs which explains how to identify stink bugs in the Mid-Atlantic region and identifies the beneficial ones.