Friday, 26 June 2015

Cedar Key, Florida

Following a week in Orlando (unfortunately no birding) we headed back to the Gulf Coast for the weekend. By the time we reached Cedar Key it was lunch time and we found Annie's Cafe on the main road into town. The cafe is right next to Back Bayou, where we spotted a Roseate Spoonbill and Tricolored Heron feeding among the oysters. Jo had a more leisurely lunch while I bolted my grouper sandwich down then ran back to the car for the camera and tripod. There was a heavy cloud cover making it a challenge to grab this initial habitat shot because I wanted enough depth of field to show the whole area but also a fast enough shutter speed to freeze both birds which were moving around feeding. Bumping the ISO to 1600 worked (I love digital photography - this shot would have been impossible 20 years ago on film).

Roseate Spoonbill + Tricolored Heron, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 1600, f/11,1250

Both birds cooperated nicely by continuing to feed (and stop for the occasional pose) while I tried a few vantage points to get closer (aided by a 2x adaptor).

Roseate Spoonbill, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/16, 1/400
Roseate Spoonbill, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/16, 1/200
Roseate Spoonbill, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/11, 1/500
Roseate Spoonbill, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/16, 1/1250
Tricolored Heron, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/11, 1/800
Tricolored Heron, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/11, 1/1000
Tricolored Heron, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/11, 1/1250
Tricolored Heron, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/11, 1/2000
Tricolored Heron, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/16, 1/2000
Tricolored Heron, Back Bayou, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/14, 1/800

On the way into town we had spotted an Osprey nest and went back to check it out

Osprey, No. 3 Bridge, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/14, 1/2000

and another Roseate Spoonbill was feeding close by.

Roseate Spoonbill, No. 3 Bridge, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 1600, f/11, 1/2000

We stayed at Cedar Cove, right on the beach (any closer and you'd get wet!) with a room facing the water adjacent to the small inlet between the buildings.

Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 @ 34mm (cropped to panorama), ISO 400, f/11, 1/800

I spent the last two hours of the afternoon photographing the birds on the rocks and sand bar as the tide receded (by now the clouds had lifted and the sky was bright Florida blue) while Jo lazed about the pool.

Boat-tailed Grackles were foraging for crabs among the oysters.

Boat-tailed Grackle, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/11, 1/800
Boat-tailed Grackle, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/11, 1/640
Boat-tailed Grackle, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/11, 1/1250

An American Great Egret foraged for fish in the shallows.

American Great Egret, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/11, 1/800
American Great Egret, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/16, 1/800

Laughing Gulls just hung around on the sand bar.

Laughing Gull, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/22, 1/400
Laughing Gull, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/16, 1/800

The sandbar also provided a playground for children and dogs and, when they got too close, the birds disappeared so I retreated back to the room for a beer. However, the birds returned as the sun was setting (and children and dogs left the beach) and I managed to grab these shots from the room balcony.

American Great Egret, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/16, 1/1600
White Ibis, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/16, 1/250
White Ibis, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/16, 1/250
White Ibis, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/16, 1/400
White Ibis, Cedar Cove, Cedar Key Florida
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/16, 1/400

The only thing I had to worry about was how to hold the beer.

Tomorrow, the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.

1 comment:

  1. Once again a wonderful collection of birds and reflection images. Pity youmissed birdng aorund Orlando. I am told it is very good.

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