Piedmont NWR, Middle Georgia

May 9, 2014 at 6:21 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Dragonflies and Bugs, Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Wildlife) ()

Eastern Bluebird male

Eastern Bluebird male

Enroute to Colorado, I stopped at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge north of Macon, Georgia.  I met two other ladies who wanted to watch birds, and we helped each other find some good ones. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jekyll Island – Wilson’s Plovers

May 5, 2014 at 4:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Wilson's Plover chick banded by Abby Sterling in 2012

Wilson’s Plover chick banded by Abby Sterling in May 2012

The above photograph was taken by bander Abby Sterling on Little St. Simons Island two years ago.  Here is the same bird I photographed on April 27, 2014 on Jekyll Island, all grown up:

Wilson's Plover, male, wearing leg bands

Wilson’s Plover, male, wearing leg bands

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Jekyll Island Shorebirds

May 4, 2014 at 4:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Royal Tern in courtship pose

Royal Tern in courtship pose

This is the time of year that the royal terns have their best caps on, and strut their stuff with panache.  The males weren’t bringing little fish to seduce the females like they did last year.  Perhaps there weren’t any of their favored kind?  Or perhaps it was too early or too late in the courtship?

Royal terns courting

Royal terns courting

At any rate, a few pairs were doing their endearing pas de deux as a preliminary to mating. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jekyll Island – Songbirds

May 3, 2014 at 4:39 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Cape May Warbler, male, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Cape May Warbler, male, Jekyll Island, Georgia

I think the Cape May Warbler is a lifer for me.  At least it’s the first time I’ve ever photographed it.  This guy was foraging in a bottlebrush bush. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jekyll Island – Laughing Gulls Go A-courtin’

May 2, 2014 at 8:01 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , , , )

Laughing Gulls Courting, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Laughing Gulls Courting, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Normally I am not too interested in the doings of gulls, but the rather handsome Laughing Gulls were engaged in an intriguing courtship and I couldn’t help but photograph it.

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I watched the smaller gull (I really didn’t know the sexes were different sizes) seem to flirt with or beg from the larger one.  Since females of many animal species are often larger, and since it’s usually the male trying to charm the reluctant female, I assumed the smaller one was the guy gull.

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Several times I watched as this teasing eventually led to the larger gull doing something curious.

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The larger gull would regurgitate a whole fish!  The smaller gull would then eat it.

A regurgitated fish

A regurgitated fish

Sometimes there would be a tug of war.  Sometimes another gull, familiar with the ritual, would swoop in and steal the gift.

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Now I know males often feed females during courtship and breeding.  Was this a coy female getting her boyfriend to cough up a gift?

Laughing Gulls mating

Laughing Gulls mating

Then I saw the larger gull would always be the one on top, in the dominant position of the male.  So I had to change my entire perspective of this courtship.  Male Laughing Gulls are bigger.  Females are the seducers.

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Happily married!

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Jekyll Island – Black Skimmers

May 1, 2014 at 10:47 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

Black skimmer taking flight, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Black skimmer taking flight, Jekyll Island, Georgia

From one day’s visit to Jekyll Island, Georgia I will have several blogs to come.  I am moving to my new seasonal job in Colorado and am too busy packing to write, so I will just post the photographs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Okefenokee Tapestry

March 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm (fine art photography, Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography) (, )

Sunset at the first shelter

Sunset at the first shelter

Even though I don’t work there anymore, I am able to stay after hours at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge because of my friend Marilyn who volunteers there.  She loves recording nature’s beauty with a camera, too, and even if we don’t plan a trip on the boardwalk together at sunset, we sometimes encounter each other there.  Here she is with a Houston friend who went paddling with her this week.

Water reflections

Water reflections

Photography helps us focus attention on things often overlooked.  I, for one, dilly-dally, looking high and low for some interesting treasure.  Abstractions and semi-abstractions often catch my attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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February’s End in the Okefenokee Swamp

March 1, 2014 at 9:08 am (Georgia, Great Florida Birding Trail, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography)

Red swamp maple Swamp Island Drive

Red swamp maple Swamp Island Drive

A gorgeous way to end the month of February in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.   The red maple’s winged seeds in spring are just as pretty as their leaves are in fall. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jekyll Island Winter Birds

February 20, 2014 at 5:05 am (Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Black-and-White Warbler

Black-and-White Warbler

The Great Backyard Bird Count has expanded beyond backyards into anywhere birders wish to pursue their avian quarry as citizen scientists.  Birder friend Marilyn and I joined Lydia Thompson’s group on Jekyll Island, Georgia, after photographing the combined sunrise/moonset on the north beach that you might have seen in my previous post.

Black-and-White warbler

Black-and-White warbler

We split into three groups, with ours led by a very good birder Mike Chapman.  I’m usually not the first to spot a bird, although I can still hear the very high notes of the cedar waxwings – which many people my age can’t register anymore.  But I did find the black-and-white warbler scouring the oaks for insects. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter Sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

February 19, 2014 at 4:22 am (fine art photography, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Photography) (, , , )

Winter sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Winter sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

We had the beach to ourselves this winter morning, before the sun crested the horizon, watching the vivid sky.  A few photographers came along later, when the best light was gone. Marilyn and I were piggybacking this sunrise photo session with a morning of counting birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count on Jekyll Island, GA.  We were going to do light painting after sunset, but we were too tired.  This boneyard – which is what they call a beach strewn with skeleton trees – will be a perfect place for that.  Another time. Read the rest of this entry »

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