Tag Archives: Pig

Circle B Bar Reserve – March 10, 2018

When I began writing this post, I looked at the Circle B Bar Reserve category on my blog (https://edrosack.com/category/circle-b-bar-reserve/).  To my surprise, once again it’s been about 2 years since my last visit!  Every time I’m there I think I should go more often.  This time I mean it – it’s a wonderful place!

It’s also a popular place – there’s a lot to see and a lot of people looking.  Kevin M. and I went over last Saturday and here are some highlights from our visit.

Great Horned Owl parent and chickGreat Horned Owl parent and chick

There’s been a Great Horned Owl nest along the entrance road for several years.  It’s marked off with tape and signs and there’s usually a crowd observing so you can’t miss it. The image above is a composite. They didn’t both look toward me at the same time, so I combined two exposures in Photoshop.  The chick seems pretty large.  I’m guessing it must be several weeks old.  They grow fast – go over soon if you want to see it before it fledges.

Cooper's HawkCooper’s Hawk

This hawk startled several birds (and me) when it launched towards a coot on the surface of the canal by Marsh Rabbit Run.  It missed and then stayed in this tree for a bit before moving on. I almost didn’t make the photo, since at first glance, it looked like a Red-shoulder Hawk to me.  But luckily someone nearby said “That’s a nice Cooper’s”, which is a new life bird for me.  It’s young so the colors aren’t typical for an adult, but the eyes give it away.

I also tried one of the features in the new firmware for the Olympus E-M1 MII camera:  Pro Capture (hi) mode with the PL 100 – 400 lens.  I wanted to catch the bird as it launched off the branch.  It didn’t quite work because hi speed Pro Capture freezes focus after the first shot.  It took off at an angle toward the camera and the bird isn’t sharp in the frame.  Oh well, another thing to add to my ‘try again’ list.

Pig and PeoplePig and People

This wild pig was foraging along the Heron Hideout path. It’s pretty small, seemed very calm and used to all the curious people, and minded its own business.  But I’d still be cautious around it.

Gray CatbirdGray Catbird – infrared, monochrome

I forgot the spare battery for my main camera back in the car and of course it died on our hike just after the hawk photo.  But I also had my IR camera with me with plenty of battery left. So I switched my long lens over to it and kept shooting.  We spotted this Gray Catbird in the bushes, and I like the way the bird stands out from the vegetation in IR converted to B&W.

Cedar Waxwing @ Circle BCedar Waxwing @ Circle B (Photo by Kevin McKinney, used with permission)

We found a flock of Cedar Waxwings in the branches above the path – but my photos of them are in infrared too.  Unlike me, Kevin was prepared and he was kind enough to let me use one of his from the day for this post.

Since it’s a long drive, we got lazy and slept in – so no sunrise images.  I did make some infrared landscapes there and I’m planning to use them in a future post, so check back for that.  Maybe I’ll include the IR Waxwings too.

We usually walk down Alligator Alley but it’s closed.  The gators are apparently active in that area although we didn’t spot any.  We did spot Painted Buntings, Indigo Buntings, a Barred Owl, Blue Wing Teals, Double Crested Cormorants, Anhingas, American Coots and chicks, a Purple Gallinule, the usual Herons and Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Warblers, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, turtles, and more.  Like I said – a lot to see!

You can view more Circle B Bar Reserve photos in my album on Flickr  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/albums/72157625343566505) and in Kevin’s  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/44542650@N08/albums/72157666796492018).

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

©2018, Ed Rosack and Kevin McKinney. All rights reserved

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge – December 19, 2013

I spent last Thursday morning at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  It’d been a while since I tried for a sunrise photo, so I went over early.  There wasn’t a lot of color in the sky, but the scene was still pretty.

A calm morning on Gator CreekA calm morning on Gator Creek

After sunrise, I stopped by this decaying dock – there won’t be anything left of it soon.  The strong side light from the early morning sun helped capture detail and texture in this black and white, infrared photo.

Weathered woodWeathered Wood

When I left this spot, I drove back around East Gator Creek Road.  There was a huge flock of ducks in a V-wedge heading for the full moon that was setting in the west.  I couldn’t get my camera ready in time to capture the sight, so I just watched.  It would have made a wonderful photo.

There were many birds on East Gator Creek and on Black Point Wildlife Drive although the numbers weren’t as great as some other times I’ve been there.   Most of the regular birds were around including various Herons and Egrets, Belted Kingfishers, Wood Storks, Ospreys, Cormorants, Anhingas, Gulls, Terns, Brown Pelicans, White Ibis, Vultures, a Bald Eagle, Sandpipers, Roseate Spoonbills, Grebes, and a few others.  I also saw some winter migrants including White Pelicans, Northern Pintails, Savannah Sparrows, and what I think was a Northern Flickr.  For some reason, most of the birds were in the distance – too far away for good photos.  This sparrow though was very close.

Savanah SparrowSavannah Sparrow

I also came across several wild boars, including this one.

Making a pig of itselfMaking a pig of itself — A wild boar stops foraging for a moment to give me the evil eye this morning on Black Point Wildlife Drive.

I’m even more distrustful of these animals than alligators.  Wild boars can be aggressive and threatening.  I was returning to my car once and found a mother with several piglets scouring the ground for food near my path.  I went out of my way to go around them and tried to keep as much distance between us as I could.  Even so, the mother watched me closely and grunted at me as I got to my car.  The one in the photo above was on the other side of a ditch full of water and I was close enough to my car this time to jump in if it came toward me.  But I still didn’t like the way it watched me.

Another interesting day with lots to see.  You can click on the photos above to view a larger version and you can look at this set on Flickr to see these and many other photos from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

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

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

A summertime visit to MINWR – Black Point and Scrub Ridge Trail

A few of us visited Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge yesterday for the first time in a while. We wanted to see what’s going on at Black Point Wildlife Drive and Scrub Ridge Trail. Since it’s now officially summer time here in Florida, the temperature and humidity is soaring and it’s hard to get motivated for a long hike to see / photograph nature and wildlife.  So it’s nice to go out to a place like Black Point where you can drive through instead of having to walk.

The water levels were quite low, which I think is typical this time of year. There weren’t a great many birds, but there were enough to make it interesting. We saw a few of the usual Egrets and Herons, as well as a couple of adult and three or four juvenile Reddish Egrets. There were also some Black Neck Stilts, a Willet or two and a wild and very muddy pig.

We decided to go by Scrub Ridge trail on the way home to check out how the Scrub Jays are doing. They’re fine, although somewhat feisty. Several of us were “dive bombed” and one came so close to Kevin M. that he felt the wind from its wings on his head.  While at Scrub Ridge trail we also saw a very young Gopher Tortoise and a rabbit.

I’ve included several photos from the trip below, and you can click on these to see larger versions on Flickr.

Florida Scrub Jay watches us
Florida Scrub Jay watches us – There was a family of Florida Scrub Jays out yesterday. One or two were real posers. And one of those was a “dive bomber”. It flew at our heads a few times trying to discourage us.

Juvenile Reddish Egret
Juvenile Reddish Egret

Rabbit
Rabbit – This little guy froze and looked the other way hoping we wouldn’t see him.

Wild, muddy pig
Wild, muddy pig

Willet
Willet

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved