Tag Archives: red-winged blackbird

It’s still that time of year!

And now it’s official – the vernal equinox was last Monday.  Kevin M., Tom M. and I headed for Viera Wetlands early on Friday morning to see how spring is going there.

I wrote about the bird nesting at Gatorland a couple of weeks ago (http://edrosack.com/2017/03/12/its-that-time-of-year-again/).  It turns out that there’s a lot of activity at Viera too.

We saw Sand Hill Crane families:

What's Momma doing?What’s Momma doing? Sand Hill Crane and chick foraging at Viera Wetlands.  The chick’s concentration is fascinating.

And Great Blew Heron families (Pun intended – Windy day?  Blew?  Blue? ):

Breezy Blue and babyBreezy Blue and baby – Mom guards the nest and chicks

And caught a brief glimpse of a family of River Otters before they disappeared into the reeds:

A family of River OttersRiver Otter family – 3 or 4 of them ran across the road and into the water

I have one more photo to show you.  Since I started using the Olympus E-M1 II camera, I’ve been on a quest to apply its ‘pro-capture’ mode to photograph a Red-winged Blackbird in flight.  Their shoulders are pretty and you can’t see them very well when they’re perched. This is my best attempt so far. I like it, but I’m going to keep trying.  I’d like to catch one in a little better light and it’d be nice to have the bird facing more toward the camera.  While we’re wishing, a catch light in the eyes would be wonderful too!

Red-winged Blackbird in flightRed-winged Blackbird in flight – 

We also looked for a different sunrise spot and stopped by a pasture on the way to Viera.  Unfortunately, nature didn’t cooperate – I ended with a few uninspiring photos.  You can look at one (if you must) on Flickr at this link.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some spring time photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Viera Wetlands, Earth Day 2015

I realize this post comes a little late for Earth Day.  But I usually only publish once a week on the weekends, and on April 22nd  I was out enjoying the Earth.

“Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970″  Wikipedia

I haven’t written anything here about Viera Wetlands lately and decided to head down and see what’s going on there.  On the way, I ran into this scene.  I really liked the clouds, the way the their edge leads to the sun, the reflections in the calm water,  and the illumination on the flowers in the foreground.

Sunrise by the riverEarth Day sunrise by the Arlington / St. Johns River at SR 50, east of Christmas, Florida

I think Viera Wetlands is an appropriate place to celebrate Earth Day.  It’s a water reclamation facility and the very clean water provides a home for many birds and animals.  Here’s a link to a chart showing the 233 kinds of birds sighted there, organized by month.  Last Thursday, I saw:  Alligator, American Coot, Anhinga, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron,Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Limpkin, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Gallinule, Grackle, Northern Cardinal, Mockingbird, Least Bittern, and Red-winged Blackbird.

This next photo is interesting.  The bird was hiding in the reeds and severely back-lit.  I couldn’t really tell what it was but managed to focus through the plants and get a good exposure.  At the time I thought it was probably a Green Heron since I’ve seen many of them at Viera.  When I got home and could check it on the computer, I realized it was a Least Bittern, a much rarer sighting (for me anyway).

Had I realized it then, I’d have spent more time trying to get a better photo.  Two teaching points (remember these, Ed):  1)  The camera is a good tool for extending your eyesight.  It can see what you sometimes can’t.  2) Always take the photo – you can’t be sure what you’ve got until later.

Least BitternLeast Bittern – I found this little one hiding in the reeds at Viera Wetlands. It was extremely back-lit and hard to see.

Here’s one more somewhat interesting photo from that day.  To me, these look like a large sparrow, but they’re actually female Red-winged Blackbirds.  If you start trying to ID it by comparing it to different types of sparrows, it’ll take you a while to climb back out of that rabbit hole.  The good news is that once you do learn this ID you’re more likely to remember it next time.  If you’re interested, here’s a photo of a male.

Female Red Winged BlackbirdFemale Red-winged Blackbird

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.