Bird is the Word!

OK, I have to admit… I’m as capable as anyone at ignoring the work that has to be done when I can go outdoors and play, but to be stuck inside my RV for days on end, in the pouring rain, with NO internet connection has had me feeling more than a little out of sorts. I’ve been in the Florida Keys for a week… and grateful as can be for the little pockets of sunshine. I’ll save those tidbits for another post, because now that I’m connected again I have to backtrack to Fort Myers. I spent several days there, hanging out with my friend, John Snow. It rained some while there as well… stormed actually… but when it did I filled my time working (I had a great WiFi connection from my RV in his driveway!) and working out at his gym. When it WASN’T raining we were out fishing. The only fishing I’ve done in years was with my buddy Tony in Colorado a few years ago. That was my first attempt at Fly Fishing, and I loved it! Before that, as mentioned in my last post, my best memories of fishing were from a dock at the base of Mount St. Helens as a child.

Fishing from John’s boat in Pine Island Sound was fun and relaxing, and of course where you find fish, you also find fish-eating birds. And as most of you know by now I am rarely without my camera. So… with a camera in one hand and a fishing rod in the other, I was pretty content! (I may have to pull the amazing Elk shots I got with a fly rod under my arm in Colorado! :-) ) In the mean time, here’s more of the birds of Florida…

Great Egret in flight with fresh catch

Double Crested Cormorant

I thought this shot of a Great Egret was quite comical. Looks a bit like a LONG rubber chicken under those white feathers.

Osprey with a sizable catch!

Green Heron

Osprey on the hunt

I’ve always enjoyed watching groups of Pelican glide low over the water in formation… wings literally skimming the top of the surf along a coastline. Not a behavior I observed in this sound. There must be something about the surf that draws them. Watching them fish is a treat as well, as they dive at great speeds straight into the water.

Another somewhat comical shot… Brown Pelican in flight

Great Blue Heron

I believe this is a Forster’s Tern, but I’m confused by the orange beak.

I SO hoped for a closer view of this Bald Eagle!!

John’s folks live right on the water on Pine Island and have an Osprey nest in their cul-de-sac.  I was fortunate to get a pretty decent view of mom and three young from their front porch. (HATE power lines!)

And from below…

Also saw Manatee, and Horseshoe Crabs…

I hope to one day dive with them!

Caught several fish, but all went free…

John was kind enough to pull off the road to indulge me in a shot of these colorful mail boxes I’d been eyeing each day as we passed by…

I don’t think we ate anything for dinner while there but fish. Yummy fish! The rest of the time I made John eat veggie foods and other healthy stuff. Between the work-outs, healthy lean foods, fishing and lots of good conversation and laughter it was a pretty great visit! Thanks again John!

And speaking of light and lean, here’s a quick, light and easy BBQ meal I enjoyed a few days ago.

Salmon on the Barbie (for one or two)

1-Tbs Brown Sugar

1-Tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1-Tbs Olive Oil

Dash of lemon pepper seasoning

I Clove fresh minced garlic

Salmon fillets

Marinade for two hours. For easy clean up use a zip-lock bag. I flip it from time to time and leave it out at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour. Pre-heat grill and use cooking spray to keep Salmon from sticking. Grill about 5 minutes with skin facing up, flip and cook another five minutes or until Salmon is flaky. Slide spatula between meet and skin to serve.

Served with brown rice and grilled zucchini (light glaze of olive oil, smidge of sea salt, pepper and some of that fresh garlic from above. Throw them on shortly after the fish and flip ‘em at the half way point.

Enjoy!

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7 thoughts on “Bird is the Word!

  1. Hi Fran, Great pics as always. It’s interesting how an osprey always carries the fish facing forward (like a torpedo underneath a torpedo plane). Meanwhile Bald Eagles carry their fish sideways. I guess Eagles are more into brute force and awkwardness as opposed to streamlining.

    • Thanks Mike. Since the Osprey seem to grab prey nearly as big as they are (body size) they have probably streamlined for less wind resistance just so they can carry them. I bet you’ve seen plenty of this fishing the rivers of the NW and Alaska!!

  2. Hey Fran,
    I’m going to Costa Rica at summers end and know there is some great bird watching there as well. The longest lens I have is my 70-200. What lens would you recommend to get those great close ups?

    • Believe it or not Jana I am shooting those with a 70-200! I’ve seriously contemplated getting a longer lens, but when I weigh gas prices with the fact that I’ve got a super sharp Canon lens/camera combination that I can crop into when need be? Let’s put it this way… it doesn’t take long for me to spend my lens money at the gas pump. Drop me an email though, and we’ll talk lenses.

  3. Pingback: My Favorite Places Revisited | Journey in Focus

  4. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.

    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her
    ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had
    to tell someone!

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