Monthly Archives: January 2011

Catching up

Hello again, readers!  I apologize for a somewhat lengthy post, but today I wanted to catch you up on photo related happenings over the last couple of weeks – so there are several topics worth mentioning.

Circle B Bar Reserve

A week ago (Saturday, 22 Jan), I returned to the Circle B Bar over in Lakeland Florida with the Photography Interest Group.  The first time I wrote about this place, I said: “I’ve only been to the Circle B once, and need to go several more times to get an idea of how consistent the photo ops there are.”  Well, the second visit lived up to the first, starting with a quite pretty dawn:

Dawn at the Circle B Bar Reserve

Dawn at the Circle B Bar Reserve

One of the highlights of this trip was seeing a Barred Owl and getting a relatively good photo of it.  The owl was high in a tree and ended up attracting quite a crowd before it got tired of us and flew off.  The lighting was a bit tough – I’m glad I had my flash and Better Beamer ready.

Barred Owl watches photographersBarred Owl watches photographers

We also sighted Ospreys, Red Shouldered Hawks, a Red Bellied Woodpecker, Whistling Ducks, and many other birds.  Unfortunately, the beautiful yellow sunflowers that were all over the place last time are no longer there.  They are seasonal and to see them you’ll have to return around mid to late November next year.  All in all, a very nice trip and the Circle B definitely lived up to its reputation once again.  You can look at more of my photos from the Circle B in this set on Flickr.

Black Point Wildlife Drive

Yesterday, I visited Black Point again.  I’m not sure why, but this place seems to be really great for photos with reflections.  Quite often the water is extremely calm and you can see scenes like these:

Clear day, calm water 1Clear day, calm water

Spoonbill and reflectionSpoonbill and reflection

There was a lot of activity at Black Point.  We spotted an otter, Hooded Mergansers, Belted Kingfishers, Hawks, and many other species.  We also paused for a while to watch a pair of Ospreys fishing.  They were too far away for good photos, and never came closer even though we had fish jumping out of the water right in front of us!  You can look at more of my photos from Black Point in this set on Flickr.

Scrub Ridge Trail

A couple of weeks ago on Flickr, I saw some very nice photos of Florida Scrub Jays, made by “moonfloweryoli“.  I commented on them and she mentioned a trail in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge where she saw them.  This led us to an add a second expedition to yesterday’s  Black Point visit.  We wanted to try to observe this unique species that only lives here in Florida.  To make a long story short, we tried hard, but we never saw any.  We’ll have to go back and try again.  Kevin K. did make this image to document our search:

Wilbur and Donuts looking for the hard to find Florida Scrub Jays“Wilbur” and “Donuts” looking for the hard to find Florida Scrub Jay (image courtesy of Kevin Krause);  Your humble author is the one on the left.

Alligator Farm and Gatorland blogs

A quick update for those of you looking for info on the St. Augustine Alligator Farm or Gatorland.  I reported back in November that Gatorland was canceling its photographer early entry program.  The Gatorland Blog hasn’t been updated since then, so it’s a bit hard to find out what’s going on at that park.

Meanwhile, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm announced they would continue their photographer early entry program.  They’ve been running a mailing list on Yahoo where you could find information, and last week they announced that they’ll be discontinuing this and starting a blog of their own.  It’s now up and running, check it out.

Sigma 150 – 500

Finally, here’s an equipment update.  I’ve been doing much of my bird photography since early last year with a Sigma 150 – 500 OS lens.  I’ve been very happy with it and one of my few complaints was that the Optical Stabilization was a bit noisy.  Lately, it’s developed a “chatter” where it sounds like the OS motor is vibrating back and forth.  While it does this, you can see the image vibrating through the viewfinder.  I called Sigma and they said to send it back.  So I’ll be without it for a while.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

That’s all for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Two Image Pano / HDR / Focus Stacking

Intro

It’s been a while since I posted an in depth technique article, so I thought I’d do another one.  Warning: Major photo geek out ahead.  If you’re not into HDR, panoramas, post processing, etc. please move along.

OK, now that it’s just us photo nerds left, wanna see some sausage made?  Let’s get started.

My question to you:  What if you want more pixels in your final image, more dynamic range in both highlights and shadows, and better depth of field, all by using a much simpler technique than you might normally use?  How would you go about it?  I’ll explain one approach I used recently to make this lead photo from my previous post:

Sunrise at Viera WetlandsFinished image (click to view on Flickr)

I made this with a 12 megapixel Nikon D700, but my final image file is 4238 pixels wide by 5776 pixels tall (about 24.5 Megapixels).  It has good depth of field with objects from very close out to the horizon in focus.  It also has good dynamic range with both the ground and the sunrise & clouds well exposed.

Details

If you were going to create an image like this using conventional techniques, it could require 6 or more exposures.  You’d mount your camera on a tripod and manual focus. You might analyze the scene to decide on an optimum exposure.  Then you’d make three bracketed exposures around that, first of the lower portion of the image, then shifting your camera viewpoint up toward the clouds – three more bracketed exposures.  Then you’d use panorama software to combine the three pairs of images at each exposure value, followed by HDR software to combine the three resulting panoramas into an HDR file and tone map it.  You might have to play with the result quite a bit to eliminate noise, ghosting, etc. introduced by the HDR software.  And if you wanted to stretch the depth of field, you might go through this twice with different focus points, and combine them too.  In some situations, you could also try using graduated neutral density filters to control dynamic range.

Whew – that could be a whole lot of work!  I didn’t do all that.  Instead, I used a much simpler idea.  Basically, I just combined two images manually in Photoshop.

If you’re still with me, read on (it might look complicated, but it’s actually harder to read about than do).  Here are the details.

  1. I hand held my camera and used an image stabilized lens so I didn’t have to worry too much about longer exposures.  The camera was in landscape orientation.  I used aperture priority, with matrix metering auto exposure, and auto focus using the center focus point.  When I made these, I held my camera very carefully to make sure there was no side to side movement and that the horizon was level so there was no rotation between shots, and I made sure there was at least 30% vertical overlap between the two images.  I also shot in RAW mode for the best dynamic range and control over processing.
  2. For this first photo, I pointed at the sky and let the camera auto expose for the bright clouds and sunrise.  It also auto focused on the clouds in the middle of the frame.  It’s at 16 mm, ISO 200, and f/8 @ 1/160 sec.  Here’s the unprocessed RAW source image for the sky:
  3. RAW source image for the sky
  4. For this second photo I pointed down at the ground and this time the camera exposed for the dark foreground.  It auto focused on the ripples in the water just short of the first coot  (again in the middle of the frame).  It’s at 16 mm, ISO 200, and f/8 @ 1/25 sec. (almost 3  stops more exposure).  Here’s the unprocessed RAW source image for the ground:
  5. RAW source image for the ground
  6. Then I processed the RAW photos.  I used Capture NX2 and converted them to TIF, but you could use Photoshop to convert them and not need CaptureNX2.  I set picture control to neutral, white balance to daylight, enabled distortion correction, and tried to bring both photos closer in overall brightness.  Here are the two processed images:
  7. Sky image after RAW conversion
    Ground image after RAW conversion
  8. Next I loaded the files into Photoshop as separate layers in the same file, and used Photoshop’s Edit / Auto Align Layers function to place the two images relative to each other.
  9. At this point, I added a layer mask (reveal all) for the sky image and then painted black to remove the portions below the horizon that I didn’t need.  It was fairly easy to blend the images by changing the brush opacity and either erasing or painting in until it looked correct.
  10. The final steps then are the same ones used for any photo:  crop, sharpen, levels, apply any creative filters you like, etc.

Once you go through this a few times, it’ll be easier and you can, of course vary some of these steps based on your own preferences.

Conclusions

I think this “Two Image Pano / HDR / Focus Stacking” technique can be really useful and it has several advantages over standard approaches normally used for this kind of image.

Benefits

  • It’s simpler than conventional techniques, and yields very good results.
  • You can hand hold in many cases, especially if you use an image stabilized camera or lens.
  • It uses the camera’s auto exposure effectively to expose correctly for the different areas of the image.
  • You can post process with just Photoshop – other software isn’t required.
  • It greatly increases the dynamic range of the final image without requiring HDR processing or software.  It doesn’t require a straight line horizon like graduated neutral density filters would.
  • Depth of field can be increased over that in a single exposure or in a conventional pano / HDR approach.
  • It also substantially increases vertical field of view.

Limitations

This technique is situation dependent: It’ll only produce portrait or perhaps square orientation output images (although you’ll have lots of pixels to crop to other formats).  It only works where the scene is easily divided into two portions where the brightness varies vertically.  Also,the dynamic range increase available from just two images may not be enough in all situations.

So, should you use it?

Why not?  Under the right conditions, it can generate very good results with minimal effort.  Now that you’ve heard about this technique, you can watch for scenes where you may be able to use it.

Then you can try it – and please let me know how it works for you.

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

A very nice Viera morning

Although it was very tempting to sleep in this morning, I was up early and made it over to Viera Wetlands in time to witness another one of nature’s shows.  The clouds cooperated and did their part, the sun and calm water pitched in, a couple of coots made just the right ripples, and all I had to do was snap the shutter.

Sunrise at Viera Wetlands

Sunrise at Viera Wetlands

Once the sun was up, we parked the cars and walked for a while, thinking that the slow deliberate approach would yield better photos than the quick drive method.  It didn’t – we failed to find much of interest on foot.  The light wasn’t very good either – due to the clouds that made the sunrise so nice.  We ended up getting back in the cars and using them to find things of interest.  And after a while, the clouds cleared and we had better light for bird photography.

Last week we saw several Snipes, but couldn’t get good photos since they took off and flew fast and erratic as soon as we got close.  This week our luck was better (or this bird was a bit tired).  He stayed still for us to make his portrait.

Wilson's (Common) Snipe

Wilson’s (Common) Snipe

We saw the usual Heron and Egret suspects, along with Anhingas, Hawks, Black Crowned Night Herons, American Bitterns, Savannah Sparrows, Northern Shovelers, and Sandhill Cranes.  I was able to photograph two new (for me) species – Ring Neck Ducks, and Lesser Scaups.

We also took a turn ’round the click ponds and there was a great deal of activity there.  This Cormorant surprised me when he came up with his breakfast.

Cormorant with fish

Cormorant with fish

We had a great time.  Clicking on these photos will open them on Flickr, where you can view larger versions.  You can also visit my Viera Wetlands set on Flickr to see other photos I’ve made there.

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Jim Goldstein's Best Photo Project

Since 2007, Jim Goldstein has been organizing a “your best photos” project among the readers of his blog. I participated last year and this year, and I’m grateful to Jim for organizing this.

The 2010 results were published today, and the images from all of these photographers are outstanding and well worth a look.  You can review them using the list below, or read more on Jim’s blog here: Best Photos of 2010 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

via JMG-Galleries and Borrowlenses.com

  1. Best Photos of 2010 by Jim M. Goldstein – JMG-Galleries
  2. Best Photos of 2010 by Matthias Wassermann – Mawpix.com
  3. Exploring Light -Top Photos 2010 – Chris Moore
  4. My Top Ten Photos for 2010 – Tom Varden
  5. My Top Ten Photos of 2010 | Craig’s Musings – Craig Vitter
  6. Top 10 Photos for 2010 | Dobson Central – Ken Dobson
  7. Best Photos of 2010 – Carol Bauer
  8. My Best photos from 2010 – Janis Janums
  9. My Best Photos of 2010 – David Daylor | SixtyOneNorth.com
  10. 2010 – Year In Review – Jon McCormack Photography – Jon McCormack
  11. S Zacharias: Best of 2010 – Stephen Zacharias
  12. 2010 Photos – David Hernandez
  13. Iceman Photography – Top 10 in 2010
  14. Best of 2010 – Dave Wilson
  15. Skolai Images – Bears of 2010 – Carl Donohue
  16. My Best Photos From 2010 – Art Kuntz
  17. 2010 in Review – Jay Goodrich
  18. My Favourite Images of 2010 – Sven Seebeck ***
  19. Lunchisoptional: Favorites of Year: 2010 Edition — Ken Trout
  20. My ten favorite photos of 2010 – Stefan Bäurle
  21. Top 10 of 2010 – Behind The Clicks – Mohammad Noman
  22. Top Ten Photos Of 2010 – Jed Link
  23. 2010 in Review – kRiZ cPEc Photo Blog
  24. Chuqui.com- Best Photos 2010 – Chuq Von Rospach
  25. My Favorite Photos of 2010 – Ed Rosack
  26. 2010 Favorites – Pat Ulrich | Pat Ulrich Photography ***
  27. Favorites of 2010 – Kevin Moore
  28. Top 10 of 2010 from BlazingB Photography – Bill Pennington ***
  29. My Favorite Photos of 2010 – Mike Criss ***
  30. My faves from 2010 – Matt Smith
  31. My favourite shots of 2010 – Catalin Marin | Momentary Awe ***
  32. 2010 a Year in Review, My Top 10 Memorable/Favorite shots – Mike Criswell
  33. Craig Ferguson Images – A Year In Photos – Craig Ferguson
  34. Top 50 Images from 2010 and Goal Setting – Mike Cavaroc
  35. Jim’s Photography – Jim Wheeler
  36. Sharpimage.net – The best of 2010 – David Sharp
  37. StephenWeaver Photography/Earth Systems Imaging-Stephen G. Weaver
  38. Best of 2010 – Changing Perspectives – Jenni Brehm
  39. katzekotz.de – best of 2010 – Thomas Kneppeck
  40. 2010 Favorite Images – Alpenglow Images – Greg Russell
  41. Best Images of 2010 – Peter Cox Photography – Peter Cox
  42. Best of 2010| Simon Says – Simon Ponder
  43. My Favorites Shots of 2010 – Fine Art Prints – Jeff Colburn
  44. Mountain and Climbing Photography – Alexandre Buisse
  45. Siam In Contrast 2010 – Adrian Young
  46. Olivier Du Tré | 2010 in review (black and white) | 2010 in review (colour)– Olivier Du Tré
  47. John Dunne Photography | My Top 10 Favourite Images of 2010 – John Dunne
  48. Best of 2010 Flickr Set – Tony Rath
  49. Top 10 from 2010 – Behind-the-lens-lukey – Luke Weymark
  50. Evan Gearing Photography’s Top 10 of 2010 – Evan Gearing
  51. 2010 Photos in Review: Water – Rebecca R Jackrel ***
  52. Justin Korn [dot] com – Best of 2010 – Justin Korn
  53. My Best Photos of 2010: Learning and Growing> – D. Travis North
  54. Uncommon Depth – Roberta Murray
  55. Organic Light Photography Best of 2010 – Youssef Ismail / Organic Light Photography
  56. The Best of 2010 – blackandwhite.ie – Neil McShane
  57. My Best of 2010 – Larry Rosenstein
  58. Will Wohler Photography: 2010 A Year in Review – Will Wohler
  59. digitizedchaos – best of 2010 – rian castillo
  60. My Top 10 from 2010 – Chaz Curry Photography ***
  61. My best underwater photos 2010 – Suzy Walker ***
  62. Favorite Photographs From 2010 – Fine Art Landscape Photography of Seung Kye Lee ***
  63. Best photos from 2010 – Amanda Herbert
  64. Wrapping Up 2010: My Favorite Photographs – Ivan Makarov Photography
  65. Graf Nature Photography | Reflections on 2010 photographs – MARK GRAF
  66. VACANT SHOP IN DOWNTOWN SANTA BARBARA – G. Kaltenbrun
  67. Pat O’Brien Photography – A Look Back at 2010 – Pat O’Brien
  68. G Dan Mitchell – 2010 Favorites – G Dan Mitchell ***
  69. Favorite Photo of 2010 – Naturalvision-photo.com –Derek Griggs
  70. Crest, Cliff & Canyon – Jackson Frishman
  71. 2010 In Review – Photoimagery.net – Peter McCabe ***
  72. Favorite Photos from 2010 – In the Field Photo Blog – Richard Wong ***
  73. Year in Review Best Photos of 2010 – Matt Graham Photo Blog – Matt Graham
  74. Elizabeth Brown Photography PhotoBlog: Ten Favorite Photos of 2010 – Elizabeth Brown
  75. My Top Photos of 2010 – Jonesblog – Bryan William Jones
  76. latoga photograph: My Favorite Photos of 2010 – Greg A. Lato
  77. Best of 2010 Images – Rob Tilley
  78. Living Wilderness: 12 Best from 2010 – Kevin Ebi ***
  79. Highlights of 2010 – TO KNOW MORE WEB JOURNAL – KENT MEARIG ***
  80. My Best Photos of 2010 – Michael Russell | Michael Russell Photography
  81. Best Photographs of 2010 – Chuck Goolsbee
  82. Favourite Photos from 2010 – Tim Smalley
  83. My Best 10 Photos 2010 – A Reconnection to Nature – Mark Fenwick
  84. Best of 2010 – Quotidian Photography – Jessica Sweeney
  85. My Top Images of 2010 – ANDREW KEE
  86. A Photo A Day… Done! – WelliverPhotography – Beth Welliver
  87. Batsto Village – Louis Dallara Photo Blog – Louis Dallara
  88. Best 10 of 2010 – John Wall’s Natural California ***
  89. 10 from 2010 on the Ann-alog – Ann Torrence ***
  90. Favorite Photos from 2010 – My Photo Blog – Ron Niebrugge ***
  91. My favorite photos 2010 on Flickr – Markus Heinisch ***
  92. My best photos of 2010 – Mike Hellers
  93. Dave Reichert’s Best Of 2010 – Dave Reichert
  94. Photographs: 2010 Revisited – Joseph Szymanski
  95. Best Pics 2010 on Flickr – Michael Rubin
  96. My 10 Best Shots of 2010 – ROBIN BLACK PHOTOGRAPHY – ROBIN BLACK
  97. Top 10 from 2010 – Anne McKinnell
  98. Vanilla Days – Best of 2010 – Pete Carr
  99. Top Photos of 2010 – Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images ***
  100. Top Images from 2010 – Russ Bishop | Nature Photo Blog
  101. Favourite photos from 2010 – Bryn Tassell ***
  102. 10 Best Photos of 2010 by Scott Thompson – Scott Thompson
  103. My Top 10 photos of 2010 – Alexander S. Kunz ***
  104. My 10 Best for 2010 – Dan Baumbach ***
  105. Unified Photography – Best Photos of 2010 – Ken Snyder
  106. 5 From 2010 – Contemporary Wildlife Photography – David Lloyd
  107. Top 10 Photos of 2010 – Steven Bourelle Digital Arts
  108. 2010 Top Ten Photos – Andrew S Gibson
  109. 2010 Reflections – Dru Stefan Stone – Dru-Color My World
  110. Best of 2010 – Dave Hammaker
  111. Top 20 of 2010 – Jenna Stirling
  112. LandLopers.com Top Travel Photos of 2010 – Matt Long
  113. Best of 2010 – Stephen Davey
  114. Landscape Photography Blogger My Favorite Photos of 2010 – David Leland Hyde ***
  115. Views Infinitum – Best of 2010 – Scott Thomas
  116. One Per Trip – Favorite Travel Photos From 2010 – The Carey Adventures – PETER WEST CAREY
  117. Best of 2010I Love It, SF – Kara Murphy
  118. My top 10 pictures from 2010 – Duffy Knox
  119. Burrard-Lucas Photography – Will & Matt Burrard-Lucas ***
  120. Hank Christensen Photography Top 10 2010 – Hank Christensen
  121. My Best Photos from 2010 – 365-1/4 Sra
  122. Top Ten Images of 2010 – Michael Frye ***
  123. Jono Hey’s Best of 2010 on Flickr – JONO HEY
  124. My Favorite Photographs from 2010 – Stories From Home –David Patterson ***
  125. My 2010 Best Images of California and Arizona – Steve Sieren ***
  126. My Top 10 Landscapes of 2010 – Andre Leopold
  127. Best of 2010 set on Flickr – Erik Turner
  128. This was 2010 on Flickr – Jeffrey Van Daele
  129. Top 10 of 2010 – Brian Mangano
  130. Best Photos of 2010 – KBTImages – Kevin Thornhill
  131. Best Photos of 2010 – The Sun Shines & The Igloo Melts
  132. Top 10 of 2010 – Chad Griggs
  133. Best Photos of 2010 – WASEEF AKHTAR
  134. My Favorite Images from 2010 – Outdoor Exposure Photography by Sean Bagshaw – Sean Bagshaw ***
  135. My Best Shots of 2010 – Annika Ruohonen Photography – Annika Ruohonen
  136. Top sights from 2010 – Mariana Travieso Bassi
  137. Year 2010 in Korwel Photography – Iza Korwel
  138. WISCONSIN SUMMER – Jarrod Erbe
  139. Best Photos of 2010 – Jim Stamates
  140. Top 10 of 2010 – Younes Bounhar
  141. Light on the Landscape Photoblog/My Favorite Images of 2010 – WILLIAM NEILL ***
  142. My Best Photos of 2010 – Itsa a greyt day for a photo – Terri Jacobson
  143. Listening to Nature Photography Blog by Rhoda Maurer – RHODA MAURER ***
  144. My favorites of 2010 – David Richter
  145. Best of 2010 – View from the Little Red Tent – Edie Howe
  146. tmophoto best of 2010 – Thomas O’Brien
  147. Best Photos Of 2010 – Dawnstar Australis – Daniel McNamara
  148. Top 10 of 2010 – Cranial Aperture – Jeffrey Yen
  149. 10 Best Favorites of 2010 – Sudheendra Kadri ***
  150. Flickr – Best of 2010 – Chris Arts
  151. Flickr: Best of 2010 – Heidi Donat
  152. Best Photo of 2010 – Anton Huo
  153. Best of 2010 – Travel & Landscape – Eugene Cheng
  154. Preetalina Photography: 2010 Favorites – Preeti Desai
  155. Hidden Light Photography 2010 Favorites – Alan Williams
  156. 5Mae 2010 Favourites Flickr Set – Sarah-Mae
  157. Best Photos of 2010 – John Fujimagari ***
  158. Best of 2010 – Paavani Bishnoi
  159. Best Photos of 2010 – Phil Colla ***
  160. 100 Favorites from 2010 – Patrick J. Endres ***
  161. Top Ten Of 2010 – Steve Cole Photography
  162. Some of My Favorite Images From 2010
  163. – Clark Crenshaw Photography ***

The Photography Interest Group Visits Viera

Our local photography club organized an expedition to Viera Wetlands yesterday.  It was one of our larger outings, with 8 people from the group there, including one new member.  We arrived just after sunrise and spent a little over 2 hours exploring the main site, and also took a quick tour of the click ponds.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: These birds aren’t nesting yet, but they do seem to be reserving their spots.

Wow – what a day for avian variety and nature lovers!  The weather was quite nice too – sunny with temperatures in the 50s.  There isn’t much nesting going on yet, but we did see an amazing number of both year-round and winter visitor species.    Several of these birds are difficult to spot and / or photograph well and it helps to make multiple circuits of the wetlands. It also really helps to have multiple sets of eyes watching for and pointing out interesting things.  About the only thing we struck out on was  the River Otters, but we did hear others talking about them – so they were around somewhere.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher: There were several of these at Viera Wetlands yesterday. They generally stayed out in the middle of the cells and so were hard to photograph.

Here’s a list of birds we spotted:  American Bittern, Anhinga, Belted Kingfisher, Blue Wing Teal, Coot, Double Crested Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Wing Teal, Little Blue Heron, Little Egret, Hooded Merganser, Common Moorhen, Northern Harrier, Northern Shoveler, Red Shouldered Hawk, Gulls, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, Wilson’s (or Common?) Snipe, White Ibis, Wood Stork,  and others that I probably forgot or that we still have to identify.

Anhinga

Anhinga

If you haven’t been to Viera Wetlands recently, you really ought to check it out.

You can click on these photos to go to Flickr where you can look at larger versions.  You can see more of my photos from Viera Wetlands in this set on Flickr.  You can also visit our photography club’s group photo pool on Flickr here.

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Winter winged visitors

If you enjoy birding and / or bird photography – Central Florida offers many opportunities.  The winter months especially can be quite rewarding.  Insects and heat are much less of a bother, and many species that aren’t here year round, do visit.  This allows us to expand our observation beyond the birds we typically see.  Also, with less vegetation cover, some smaller birds are easier to spot.

I visited both Viera Wetlands and Black Point Wildlife drive over the past week and here are some of the  less common (at least for me) birds that I saw:

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher, Black Point – Winter, non-breeding (in central Florida; they are year round in north Florida)

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser, Black Point and Viera – Winter, non-breeding in Central Florida

Killdeer

Killdeer, Black Point and Viera – Year round, but easier to observe in the winter

Loggerhead Shrike, Viera – Year round, but easier to observe in the winter

Northern Harrier in flight

Northern Harrier, Black Point – Winter, non-breeding in Central Florida

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow, Viera – Winter, non-breeding in Central Florida

White Pelicans take off

White Pelicans, Black Point – Winter, non-breeding in Central Florida

Last winter, I also saw these at Viera:

American Bittern

American Bittern – Winter, non-breeding in Central Florida

Masked Duck

Masked Duck – uncommon in central Florida

I’m certain there are many more “snow” birds that I’ve yet to see in Central Florida.  And that’s one reason to continue to look.

Happy New Year and thanks for looking at my blog.

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.