Forster’s Terns soar above the water hunting for their prey. When they see a potential target they hover briefly to take a closer look. One they’ve decided to pursue their target they dive, nearly straight down, and splash into the water to make the catch. This one was eyeing a possible meal above the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Monthly Archives: March 2014
Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections
I had some other ideas for this week’s photo challenge but I was walking through the woods and the reflection of the trees in this stream caught my attention. Perhaps too literal a treatment of this week’s theme but I liked the color and the stillness of the water at this spot.
Willets are pretty common along the beaches of the southeastern United States, at least during the winter months. I sat on a Gulf Coast beach in Florida and watched a fairly large flock resting well above the water line. The pictures I took of the larger group didn’t really do much for me. They were simply too busy. This smaller group of three made for a much cleaner composition.
Snowy Egret and Sandal
When I first saw this Snowy Egret it was at the edge of the water and I was walking along the beach. As I approached it flew around a bend before I could snap a single picture of it. I snuck around some vegetation and took a few photographs of it wading just off the beach. Fully expecting it to fly away at any second, I remembered a tip I once heard about photographing shorebirds. Sometimes they seem to be less concerned if you’re actually in the water with them. So I slowly began wading out into the water and the egret didn’t even seem to notice me.
The same bird that took flight when I approached it from land actually began coming towards me while I stood in the water with it. I was still wading when it decided to head back to the beach, probably no more than…
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This Brown Pelican seems to know sometimes a little patience pays off. It stood there for a while, quietly waiting to see if the fisherman had any handouts. Unfortunately it never got that meal. Two other fisherman arrived and the pelican decided it was time to move along.
Rough Stink Bug on Ficus
I believe our subject is Brochymena arborea, also known as the Rough Stink Bug. After photographing it I did a little research and was surprised to learn there are several beneficial species of stink bugs, the Rough Stink Bug being one of them. While many stink bugs feed on plants and cause crop damage there are also species, such as this one, that prey on caterpillars and other crop damaging insects.
Virginia Integrated Pest Management published the Field Guide to Stink Bugs which explains how to identify stink bugs in the Mid-Atlantic region and identifies the beneficial ones.