Tag Archives: Least Bittern

Three more from Viera

I enjoyed Viera Wetlands so much the last time I visited, that when my friend Robert Wilson suggested we meet there I was more than willing to go again.  Here are three more photos showing some of what you can find there.

It's  not easy being greenIt’s not easy being green – A Pig Frog.  Believe it or not, these aren’t too hard to spot once you know what to look for.

Least BitternLeast Bittern – Most of the time they hide down deep in the reeds. This one hung out at the top for a bit.  It’s a little better look than the last one I posted.

A pair of ottersA pair of otters – We enjoyed watching these two take their morning dust bath on the dirt road.  I’ve seen them do this several times at Viera Wetlands.  The one on the right seems to have an injury to its mouth.  Robert thinks it might be a cleft palate.

I had a great time exploring Viera with Robert.  By the way, he’s an excellent photographer and really into digiscoping.  He explains what it is and shows some wonderful examples of his photos in this article he wrote on the Photography World site.  Well  worth a look!

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

©2015, 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.

A few more updates

Sorry for not posting last weekend.  Much to do and little time to do it.  Here’s an update on three recent Central Florida Photo Op topics.

Ravine Gardens:  We made another trip up there and I’ve refreshed the main Ravine Gardens post with a few small revisions and two additional photos following our visit yesterday.  Bottom line:  A nice place for spring flowers.

Dogwood blossom in front of azaleas

Dogwood blossom in front of azaleas at Ravine Gardens

Viera Wetlands:  Kevin M. and I went by last Saturday.  Highlights of the trip were the White Pelicans in the click ponds (migrants in Florida) as well as getting images of 3 new (for me) birds.  By the way, the Tree Swallows are very difficult to photograph.  They never seem to perch and their flight patterns are very erratic.  But they are good practice for flight shots!

Least Bittern in the reeds

Least Bittern in the reeds

Tree Swallow?

Tree Swallow

European Starling

European Starling

Sigma 150 – 500 OS:  I did use this lens at Viera last weekend.  It worked well, but started to  “chatter”  one time.  Then it stopped and worked fine after that.  Not sure what to make of it, other than to keep an eye on it over time.

Thanks for stopping by!

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.