This Snowy Egret heads back to shore after fishing in the shallow Gulf Coast waters. There’s some speculation those bright yellow feet may actually help the Snowy Egret catch fish off guard.
These birds were once prized for their beautiful plumage and the fashion industry hunted them to the to the brink of extinction in the late 19th century. They’ve made a wonderful comeback and are fairly common now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I saw this Brown Pelican standing on some rocks by the shore while I was visiting Bonita Springs, Florida. The pelican practically posed as I approached with my camera.
Brown Pelicans are a little funny looking but when I’m at the beach I love watching them soar along in the wind. They frequently glide along, just above the waves, in small groups and seem to have perfected the art of efficient flight.
Check out the video above to have an idea of which beautiful birds might have a chance to photograph during the Spoonbills and Shorebirds photography workshop, next March 2014. It is a three day instructional tour with three boat rides to local rookeries of the Tampa Bay, in Florida. You will have a chance to capture the great flight photographs of Spoonbills in the very best spot in the State of Florida for this superb pink bird.