Saturday, April 30, 2016

Florida Bird & Photo Festival

I have greatly enjoyed the Florida Bird and Photo Festival in St. Augustine this week! This 5-day event includes seminars and field experiences in both birding and photography in a variety of locations. Seminars led by well-known photographers were held at Guana Tolomato Matanzas Preserve, a few miles north of the city. The timing of this annual event coincides with the breeding/nesting season for egrets, herons, spoonbills, and many other native birds.

My favorite activities were the field experiences I went on. It was tough choosing from so many offerings, I settled on Horses on the Beach at Sunrise at Surfside Beach. The group of 12 had to be on the beach at 6:15 in order to catch the sunrise!

Silhouetted riders

My second field experience was at the Alligator Farm. I have never seen so many gators- I couldn't begin to count them! However, I was there for the rookery. Native birds nest in a marshy area in this zoological park surrounded by gators.

Roseate Spoonbill

Wood Storks


Day 3- the beach at Anastasia State Park, again at 6:15.

Lonely dead tree at sunrise
St. Augustine lighthouse

Royal Terns

Brown pelicans

Meanwhile, back at the boat, Mark has been holding down the fort. He has washed and waxed parts of the boat, done the laundry, and more. What a guy!

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