I’ve often wondered how a person becomes a birder. Or is it bird enthusiast? Maybe it’s something you inherit. Birding genes. I’m thinking that’s what happened to me. I grew up with pet birds and my mom always fed the birds outside too. We had bird identification books and binoculars right in our breakfast nook.
Well, it’s fun! No matter where we go, Matt and I will often look at each other and say, “I wonder what kind of bird that is?” Recently, we were at the Myakka River State Park and a park volunteer approached us inquiring, “Are you birders?”At first I wasn’t sure how to answer. Did we qualify? Was there a definition somewhere that I should read before I committed to this? “Yes,” I daringly exclaimed.
So, now we are birders. Not very good ones, that’s for sure. We keep trying, but one time we’ll arrive at the birding location with binoculars, but not the camera. Another time the camera and tripod, but not the binoculars. And we keep forgetting our field guide! With all that preface, I’m going to share some of my bird photos anyway. It wouldn’t be a trip to Florida without seeing Great Blue Herons.
My favorite of the herons is the Louisiana Heron although here in Florida I have only heard him called the Tri-colored Heron. We watched this pretty one for quite awhile. He sat perfectly still then suddenly exploded into action. The reward was a little minnow in it’s beak. Supper!
The next birds were quite a surprise. As we walked along in the Celery Fields of Sarasota, we saw flashes of pink. Were there flamingos here? And yet, they didn’t look like flamingos. This was one instance where I wished I had a better lens for bird photography. Of course, the lens you need always seems to be the one you don’t have! These beautiful Roseate Spoonbills were quite a distance from us, but I got this shot.
We’ve noticed birds that aren’t water birds too. In fact, Matt usually spots them first. He is so observant! As we walked into church on Sunday, he said, “Is that an eagle on top of that really big flag pole? Or just a statue?” It could have been either. Of course, we didn’t have our binoculars with us. But as we stood there staring at it, another eagle flew up to it and the first left. The new eagle took it’s place with the perfect stance. It was like the changing of the guard! We enjoyed the sight and headed off for church. Afterwards, it was still there! Matt said, “Too bad you don’t have your camera.” But I did!
While at Myakka River State Park, we enjoyed the Bird Walk. A large bird flew over as we approached. We both thought it was a hawk of some kind. It landed in some far away brush and didn’t come out. We could see it’s face though. It was a Marsh Hawk also known as a Harrier.