Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Falcon and the Redheads

Another trip yesterday to the east central coast of Florida:  Jetty Park in Cocoa and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (Blackpoint Wildlife Drive) in Titusville.  Wow – it was a poor day for sunrise photos, an OK day for bird photography, and a great day for birding!

Dawn yesterday was nothing to get up for – cloudy, dim, no color.  But we were up and out, so I made a photograph anyway.

Danger
Danger

That taken care of, I switched cameras and used the Sigma 150-500mm to scout shorebirds.  There were many Gulls (Laughing, Ring-Billed, Herring), Pelicans and Black Vultures, a few Royal Terns, Black Skimmers, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings, Northern Mockingbirds, and Ospreys, and a Reddish Egret, and Snowy Egret.  I also saw a couple of Hawks and was puzzled by the look of this one that flew over the jetty and out into the inlet until I got home and did some research.  I’ve never seen a Peregrine Falcon in the wild before yesterday!

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

Reddish Egret
Reddish Egret in the surf – quite a “do”

By the time we moved up the coast to MINWR, it was a bit brighter and the conditions were better for photography.  We’d heard about a sighting of a Redhead duck and wanted to see if we could find it.  We came across it about half way round the drive on the right hand side swimming with several other ducks.  I think it’s amazing how a few bits of data over the internet can lead to sighting a semi-rare (for Florida) bird.  With so much information available it’s a great time to enjoy this kind of thing.

Redhead duck
Redhead duck

Other birds we saw on BPWD:  American Avocets, Common Snipe, Lesser Yellowlegs, American Robins, Roseate Spoonbills, Gulls, Belted Kingfishers, Northern Harrier, Northern Shovelers, Coots, Greebes, Green Wing Teals, Great Blue Herons,  Little Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Snowy Egrets, Reddish Egrets, Great Egrets, and others.

Once again, a wonderful day outside in our natural Florida paradise.

I’ve posted a few more of my photos on Flickr.  You can see them in this Jetty Park set and this MINWR set.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Jetty Park and Merritt Island – 12 Feb 2012

We had another very nice photo outing last weekend.  We stopped first at Jetty Park in Cocoa for sunrise and to check out the shore birds.  It was quite cold (for Florida) – about 32 degrees F with a 15 – 20 mph wind – brisk!  We saw Brown Pelicans, Northern Gannets, Ruddy Turnstones, Royal Terns, and several types of gulls.

Dawn at Jetty Park
Dawn at Jetty Park: There wasn’t a lot of color in the sky, but I still like how this turned out

Next we went by the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (East Gator Road, Blackpoint Wildlife Drive, Scrub Ridge Trail, and the visitor’s center).  MINWR continues to have large numbers and many types of birds.  We saw several unusual ones (a Sora, Clapper Rail, Eastern Meadowlark) and many of the regular visitors (Redwing Blackbirds, Norther Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Ring Neck Ducks, Blue Wing Teals, Redish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Tri-color Herons, Little Blue Herons, Little Egrets, Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Coots, Morehens, etc.).

Male Northern Pintail
Male Northern Pintail

Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark

There were disappointments at a few of the normal spots:  The Great Horned Owl wasn’t on its nest, the Painted Buntings weren’t at the Visitor Center, and there weren’t any Florida Scrub Jays on Scrub Ridge Trail.  But there weren’t any mosquitoes there either!

Jetty Park and MINWR are fantastic places to visit and very active now.  If you haven’t been recently, go!  You can see more photos I’ve made at these places here, here, and here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Orlando Magic fall to the Atlanta Hawks

The Orlando Magic lost a tough game to the Atlanta Hawks last night by two points in overtime.  The Hawks always seem to have our number even though they were missing some starters for this game.  It also didn’t help that the Magic were a bit slow and sloppy in the first 3 quarters.

Dwight Howard dunks
Dwight Howard dunks in traffic

We had very nice seats, which made for a good photo-op.  I used a Micro 4/3 camera and had plenty of reach with a 40 – 150mm (80 – 300mm equivalent) lens.  I did suffer a bit from the small aperture.  I had to set the ISO as high as 1600 to stop action at around 1/500 sec and f/5.6.  The Amway arena seems to have a pretty consistent lighting –  I set the white balance to tungsten for these.

Jameer Nelson shoots a 3 over Jeff Teague
Jameer Nelson shoots a 3 over Jeff Teague

It was a nice night and Lynn and I had a good time, even though our team lost.

The Magic Dancers perform
The Magic Dancers dance

You can see the other photos I made last night in this set on Flickr. And I have two other sets from previous games here and here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Orlando Wetlands Park, 5 February 2012

Orlando Wetlands Park has re-opened, and three of us from the Photography Interest Group met there before dawn last Sunday.  I was hoping for a sunrise photo, but fog and lack of color in the sky made those efforts a challenge.  Luckily I had my IR converted camera with me and made this 4 image panorama of the marsh.  I think the colors in the scene are interesting so I left it as an IR false color image instead of converting to black and white.  The IR sensor really brought out detail in the clouds that couldn’t be seen in visible light.

Misty swamp at dawn

Misty marsh at dawn – Orlando Wetlands Park, just before dawn. False color IR image.

If you haven’t been to OWP lately, you’ll be surprised at the changes.  There’s been extensive reclamation in cells 16A and 17, resulting in much more scenic views.  Check it out!

While we were there, we ran into a tour led by the Friends of Orlando Wetlands group.  Vermilion Flycatchers are rarely found in Florida, but two or more are being sighted regularly at OWP.  The group let us know about these birds and even led us right to them.

Vermilion Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher – not a great photo, but another life bird for me.

We also ran across a very pretty Purple Gallinule – my second life bird of the day.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

It was a good outing.  Birds we sighted included various Herons, Egrets, Sand Hill Cranes, Limpkins, Coots, Moorhens, huge numbers of Black Vultures, and others.

You can see other photos I’ve made at Orlando Wetlands Park here on Flickr, and you can use the blog search box to locate other articles I’ve written that mention OWP.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Keb' Mo' at the Plaza

Another wonderful concert at Orlando’s Plaza Theater last night!  Keb’ Mo’ was in town – if you like the blues you probably already know about him.  If not, you should.

Lynn and I had excellent seats which made for great listening as well as a great photo vantage point.

Keb' Mo'
Keb’ Mo’

He and his band seemed to really enjoy themselves.   They played a combination of older tunes and some off of his new album (The Reflection).  The audience enjoyed it too.

Keb' Mo'
… And the band

If you live in or near Orlando, pay attention to the Plaza.  There might be some shows you’d be interested in.  It’s a great venue.  If you go and want to take a camera, bring a smaller one.  They don’t allow “professional cameras or flash photography”.  I’ve posted a couple other photos from last night in this set on Flickr.  And you can read a blog entry I wrote about Hot Tuna at the Plaza here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved