Thursday 23 April 2015


We've been seeing a few glimpses of manatees in the channel/lake behind the villa that we're staying in for a few days.

Today we hit the jackpot with at least 3 in very close to the boat jetty.

One very big one which I estimate was about 9 feet long was right under the end of the neighbours jetty and we were able to photograph it as it came up for air every 10-15 minutes. It had an old scar on its side so we were able to see it under the murky water and watch as it surfaced.

Another great treat for us all, to be within 1 metre of this huge mammal and photograph it with a wide angle lens!...... fantastic!


Wednesday 22 April 2015

Pileated Woodpeckers.....birds of the day!

Pileated Woodpecker
Just as we were driving back to leave Sanibel Island I spotted a bird fly across in front of the car into a palm tree..... almost immediately I knew it was a Pileated Woodpecker and fortunately there was a parking area nearby.

Both Hans and I jumped out of the car leaving our wives dumbfounded as we raced to get some photos.
Luckily where we'd parked had a lot of nice shops for the ladies to look around whilst we tracked down the bird.

The next bonus was that it was a "buy one get one free" photo opportunity as there were 2 birds and they were chasing each other up and down and around the tree trunks.

I've still not worked out whether these are a pair, 2 males or 2 females..... need to do some more reading as my book shows the male as having a red crest right over the forehead and also a red moustachial stripe which I don't see on these.

What a treat as they came really close to us.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Alligators & Raccoon at Corkscrew Swamp.


A visit to the Audobon Society reserve at Corkscrew Swamp this morning turned up very few birds as the area was very dry..

Fortunately there were a few other things to see in the searing 91degree F heat.

Several alligators and a lone raccoon were the stars of the show and part of me did wish the two met face to face as I had in my mind an image of the raccoon in the gator's teeth!



Raccoon hunting for fish using its front paws

Sunday 19 April 2015

Herons & Egrets at the Venice Area Audubon Rookery

Great White Egret returning to nest

A visit to the world reknown Venice Area Audubon Rookery at Venice Florida yielded some great results.

This is a place I've longed to visit for many years!

It's only a tiny island in an urban setting but is home to many nesting herons, egrets, anhingas & cormorants.

Below is a small roughly edited selection of photos.....

Great White Egret feeding 2 large nestlings

Great White Egret 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron 

Night Heron

Black vultures at the back of the supermarket!

Great place to photograph black vultures at the back of the supermarket just a few hundred yards from where we're staying here in Cape Coral, Florida,

They were lining up on the top of the garbage skips and then jumping in to grab anything edible.

Others just looked at me from the top of the street lights..... eyeing me up as potential prey.

Saturday 18 April 2015

Birds at Sanibel Island, 16.4.2015

Yellow crowned Night Heron with crab prey

A few photos from our tour around Sanibel island in Florida yesterday.

The Willet & the Snowy Egret were on the island causeway and the Little Blue Heron & the Yellow crowned Night Heron were in the famous Ding Darling reserve amongst the mangroves.

Little Blue Heron

Snowy Egret


Wednesday 15 April 2015

Burrowing Owl, Cape Coral, Florida. 14.4.2015

Well, Burrowing Owl was my main target species for photography on this trip to Florida and boy did we get them good this morning!

At one time we were standing in the suburbs of Cape Coral and could see 5 separate owl burrows in different directions.

They are well protected and each nest burrow is visibly marked so that the grass cutters and local works personnel don't mistakenly disturb them.

We saw at least 2 burrows in the central reservation of a dual carriageway, which does beg the question to the mortality rate due to car collisions!

Anyway here are a few rough edits of this mornings pics and they represent 3 different nest sites within a 200 yard radius.

The female owl at right looks out from the burrow.

Monday 13 April 2015

Ospreys, Pine Island, Florida, 13.4.2015

A few of the osprey images I took this morning at the Northern end of Pine Island on the Gulf coast of Florida.

There were 3 nests all within 200 yards of each other, and that was just the ones we could see!

It's always amazing how ospreys are so rare in the UK but are very numerous in many other parts of the world.

These are just rough edits done from my sun lounger so apologies if they're not my finest finished items!

Sunday 5 April 2015

Common Dolphins off the coast of North Cornwall 5.4.2015

 A fantastic group of Common Dolphins today off the coast here in Cornwall.

Just amazing to think that these large sea mammals are only 15 minutes away from home (by car)!

Someone on the trip counted 96 and there may well have been more as they were homing in on our boat from many directions.

I feel very privileged to have been so close to these animals and to hear their calls and have them roll over in the water to make eye contact..... stunning!