Osprey Tongue

On a day in The Viera Wetlands area down in Florida we got to spend time watching a few different osprey eat fish.  

This particular osprey we watched for over an hour.  He made pretty quick work of a fish he caught and brought back to this tree.  The other osprey we had watched on previous days would fly off the tree and take a bit of a swim to clean up right after eating his fish.  We kept waiting on this guy to do the same, but he never did.  He never left at all.  We were waiting and hoping for some flight shots, but instead after he ate his fish, he kept dancing around all uneasy like.  Then he would shake and then make this posture like he was trying to cough something up.

I thought it was hilarious.  It looks to me like hes screaming at something.  Or sticking his tongue out at the fish he didn't catch.

ISO 800, 600mm, F/6.3 @ 1/1000th second

Hover over the image to see the camera settings.  Click on the image to view it larger.

This image was made using my Sony A77 II and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  All my gear was resting on my Sirui P-324S Monopod with L-20S Monopod Head.

Roseate Spoonbill

One of my favorite wading birds is the Roseate Spoonbill.  And there were no shortage of them around the Titusville, FL area during The Space Coast Birding Festival.

I love the pink coloration of the bird and the oddball shape if it's bill.  Much like the American Flamingo, the pink coloration of the Roseate Spoonbill is derived from their diet.

A common breeding grounds for these birds is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, so it's no surprise that we found the largest concentration of these birds there.  We spent most of our time on a portion of the refuge known as Black Point Wildlife Drive.  It is a 7 mile drive along a gravel road with prime birding habit.  We saw several different types of birds here...we saw herons, egrets, eagles, osprey, kingfishers, blue-winged teal, pintails, redhead ducks and of course roseate spoonbills.  It is a great area to visit if you are in the area!

Here is an image I really wanted to get while I was there.  A roseate spoonbill in flight.

ISO 800, 600mm, F/6.3 at 1/8000th second

Be sure to hover your mouse over the image to see the camera settings.  Also, don't forget you can click the image to enlarge it.

This image was made with my Sony A77ii and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  I had the combo mounted to my Sirui P-324S Monopod and L-20S Monopod Head.

On my Sony A77ii camera body there is a camera setting that allows the camera to shoot at 12 FPS.  That came in incredibly handy during my trip.  The only catch to using this mode is that it forces you to shoot at a wide open aperture.  I was totally cool with that, because that's what I normally do anyhow when I am shooting birds.  

Heed this warning...you WILL get tired of seeing bird photos in the coming days and weeks ;)