Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hunting for Bird Treasures on Sanibel Island - Pt. 2

A huge thrill for us on this day was running into Lillian and Donald Stokes who are the authors of our favorite birding book - Field Guide to Birds - Eastern Region. I never travel without it! Gail had just purchased their new Field Guide to North American Birds (which includes the west as well) and after seeing it, I ordered it as well. It is a bargain for all the information it carries as well as the stunning photography.  They used to have their own show on PBS and have authored about 30 books on nature.

 Lillian took the time to give us hints on how to use our cameras more effectively to take bird pictures with our telephoto lens. It certainly paid off over the next few days as I never would have gotten some of the pictures of birds in flight otherwise. It was obvious once she showed us but these were  not settings I had used before. She had us set our apertures to the narrowest (5.6 or 6.3) and told us to keep the camera on the aperture setting. This way in the bright light, we were taking very fast pictures and could capture a lot of detail. She also told us to turn off image stabilization when we were at these high speeds (I had known that one as using image stabilization will actually cause fuzziness when your pictures are crisp).  She encouraged us to practice changing the settings on our cameras so that we could do it without thinking when we had the opportunity for a good shot.  We also reset our camera to shoot multiple times rapidly and that paid off as well. They couldn't have been nicer and we trekked around after them as they are certainly the experts on finding and photographing birds!!  I told Gail that I think my good kharma (meeting famous people) is still going strong!

This butterfly was very skittish but we saw a lot of them during the day.  It is called a Great Southern White.

We had gotten to Sanibel before sunrise and this was the view from the beach over to Ft. Myers Beach.

This is a closeup of the Yellow Billed Cuckoo. They are rarely seen as they generally hide. This one stayed still for a long time.

This is just another view of the Yellow Billed Cuckoo.

This isn't a very good picture but shows a Magnolia Warbler.  My sister got a really got shot of him.  He has a yellow belly with lots of speckles on it and a white spot under his tail.
This is the Sanibel Lighthouse, the area where we saw all the birds -- not a particularly striking example of lighthouses.

This is another of the wildflowers that were common in the area which I have yet to identify!

I couldn't resist seeing what was on the beach as I knew it had to be covered with shells which it was.  These two Ruddy Turnstones were looking for food.  They certainly are very different in their summer plumages!  Their legs don't appear to be as orange as in winter as well.

You can see the wonderful browns on his back here -- a really pretty bird I thought.

I also had to take a picture of this beautiful Osprey who sat overlooking all the commotion for a long time that day.  They are fish eaters so the little birds had nothing to fear from him.  

Bird watchers are certainly as friendly as quilters although a bit more competitive!!  Everyone helped in the identification and spotting of birds.  I developed a bad case of lens and camera envy though as some wer super well equipped!!

1 comment:

Gail Baker said...

Looks like your Osprey is having a bad hair day!