Life's Little Moments

By dbifulco

Back off, Dude!

I managed to get out to Lake Seminole for an hour before the rain started today ... and what a show I got!  There are now anhingas starting to nest in the same big tree as all the herons and I was spellbound watching all the activity as anhingas flew in with branches and leaves for their nests.  At the same time, some of the herons are still putting finishing touches on their nests higher in the same tree so I was hard pressed to decide where to point my lens!

This shot is one of a series I took when two pairs of herons way up at the top of the tree got into a bit of a territorial dispute.  The one on the left had just arrived with a new stick for the Mrs (who appears to already be brooding eggs) and I guess he got too close to the second pair - words were exchanged, feathers were puffed up, and wings were flared.  No actual contact was made, but the aggression display went on for several minutes, allowing me to get some decent shots.  Luckily I was in the right position in terms of the sun.  It's a bit hard to shoot in this location because the tree is very tall and situated on a little island - so all 500mm are needed, with some cropping after.  

While I was on the other side of the pond, one of the anhingas left the tree to fly to my side to gather materials and one of the osprey took off after the anhinga!  It was rather exciting, in a nail-biting kind of way, as the osprey was clearly pissed.  He looked like he made contact in air, but then veered off, screeching the whole time.  The anhinga continued to it's destination, seemingly none the worse for the chase.

Hubs picked this shot.  I've posted several others on Flickr, six shots in total starting here with an Anhinga bringing in some leaves. I plan to go back daily to see how things progress.  It is unlikely that I'll be able to get shots of baby herons here because the nests are just too high up in the trees, and fairly well obscured - still, it will be fun watching the activity.  

I forgot to mention yesterday that I was struck in the face by a ... (wait for it...) pelican!  Yes, one of the pelicans who hang out at the sanctuary decided to take flight and the end of his wing got me right in the face.  I had a big red mark for a little while, but no damage done.  And I think I now have bragging rights for having been punched by a peli!  

Well, I am not off to pack some boxes.  Rainy day... might as well pack.  

Thanks for the lovely comments, etc on my pair of night herons yesterday.  I'll be checking in on them later in the week and will give you an update...


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