Sunday, December 12, 2010

Suncoast Splendor

Good-bye Chicago! From our airplane seats we bid adieu to gray overcast skies, gangly barren trees, burdensome, bulky winter clothing and temperatures that evoke teeth chattering shivers. Our aircraft heads southward to lush tropical foliage, white powdery  beaches and sunshine filled days. Two hours later, we eagerly disembark the plane, greeted by balmy temperatures, rustling palm fronds, idle watercraft bobbing in the harbors and a blazing sun dipping slowly below the horizon.  Ahh ... we have arrived in paradise!

Luggage is collected, car rented and we journey off on a brief drive to our destination, beautiful Longboat Key, Florida. Though the last bit of daylight is waning, I can't help but notice the stunning silhouettes of elegant waders against the cool, reflective waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. I bubble over with excitement at the opportunity to view and photograph Florida's beautiful avian life over the next 12 days.

This is my first entry in a series of posts featuring the lovely birds of the suncoast.


A magnificent Osprey ruffles its feathers while perched atop the remnants of an old tree


A stunning Great Blue Heron shows off its impressive wings while aloft over the beautiful blue waters of Sarasota Bay


Fluffed and feisty, this Snowy Egret makes its way rapidly across the rocks


Two lovely White Ibises share a quiet moment at the water's edge in the late afternoon


A sunkissed Willet waits for the gentle waves of the gulf to recede


Also known as the snakebird, this Anhinga perches upon a branch drying its impressive wings


Often seen along mangrove edges, a Yellow-crowned Night-heron looks out over the bay


A slender Tricolored Heron wades in the pond seeking a tasty treat


A dainty Snowy Egret gingerly navigates the pond shallows


A tiny Sanderling chases the ebbing waves in search of mollusks, sand crabs and other crustaceans 

19 comments:

BirdGalAlcatraz said...

So incredibly beautiful, Julie! The Great Blue Heron in flight is wonderous, one of my very favorite birds. I love the light you've captured on the Willet. These are all just stunning!

dAwN said...

Wonderful photos! So nice to be in warm..thanks for sending some this way!

capturethesoul said...

Such a beautiful post...I could feel the warmth of the Florida sunshine in your photos...each one is just gorgeous and the sunset photo is amazing!! Thanks for sharing!!

forestal said...

Superb photos as usual, will look forward to the rest from the trip. I really love the sanderling in sunset

dan

Kerri said...

Oh Julie .... once again you take my breath away with your stunning images! These "WOW" me my friend!!

Steve Creek said...

Once again an amazing series!

Beverly said...

Stunning series!!! I look forward to seeing more from your trip!

PoetessWug said...

What beautiful water birds!! I love your photography!...And I'm happy for you, that you were able to get out of those cold and snowy drifts of Chicago for a little while. :-)

CinLynn Boutique said...

Just gorgeous!! I sure wish I had the ability to take such beautiful photos! I'm so in awe!!

The Early Birder said...

Stunning images of Florida's wildlife that brings back memories from many years ago. Enjoy the warmth and the wildlife. FAB.

Kenny said...

Always a joy to see your work. Magnificent shot of the Great Blue.

JRandSue said...

What a delight to see so many brilliant images,my God,your photography is top notch.
Your first shot is my favourite.
John.

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Your bird photos are absolutely amazing. Hope you had a wonderful trip!

Pat Ulrich said...

So many great shots in this post, and all with gorgeous light! Its impossible to pick a favorite!

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Beautiful captures Julie, all ... I especially love the yellow crowned night heron and the osprey in this set.

Herman versteeg said...

Geweldige foto's.
Ik wens iedereen een goed 2011 toe.
En veel foto plezier.
Groetjes Herman.

drmarm said...

Julie, lovely! Sunset image stunning. You have such talent. so enjoy viewing.

Harold Stiver said...

All good but the Osprey image is spectacular.

Manuel Luis said...

O olhar por onde olho os reflexos do que mais belo fotografas.
Adoro os animais, gosto do teu jeito de retratar.
Abraços para a quinta, beijo