Monday, December 2, 2013

Suncoast Birds

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 and idle watercraft bobbing in the harbor. A blazing sun dips 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.

Two stunning Great Egrets engage in a territorial dispute

Pretty in pink ~ Roseate Spoonbill

A juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron scans the beach for crabs

A resplendent Tri-colored Heron exhibits interesting fishing behavior

Perched on a dead tree limb, a regal Osprey scans Sarasota Bay

A pretty White Ibis relaxes while soaking in the late afternoon sun

A Black-bellied Plover seeks sustenance in the Gulf of Mexico

A striking Red-shouldered Hawk shows off its stunning plumage

Three Black-bellied Whistling Ducks enjoy a quite morning at the pond

Poised at the tip of a branch ~ Loggerhead Shrike

Seeking prey in the shallows ~ Snowy Egret

The dusky midnight blue plumage of a Little Blue Heron

A prehistoric looking Wood Stork soars aloft

A female Belted-Kingfisher rests on a bare branch

The colorful profile of a handsome Great Blue Heron

Posted by Julie Gidwitz


  1. Some beautiful images there, Julie. I can see why American birders like to head to Florida in the winter!

  2. I read blog posts early in the morning with my first cup of coffee. Ordinarily, my brain isn't ready to form words yet and I rarely comment, but it was so delightful to start my morning with such lovely images. Enjoy Florida! Can't wait for more!

  3. Julie, these are amazing photos. The birds are beautiful, well done!

  4. What nice photos this week. The dancing egrets, the posing spoonbill and the close ups. All good.

  5. Welcome back! I bet you missed these guys:) Enjoy them....and the weather!

  6. Wonderful birds and pictures. Congrats.

  7. Piękne, a pierwsze mnie zachwyca. Pozdrawiam.
    Beautiful, and the first impresses me. Yours.

  8. You have such amazing travels, critters and photos!!!!\
    Go for Saturday critters!
    Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  9. Thank you for taking me along your journey (virtually) to witness Florida's avian beauty.

    Linda and I are counting the days before we make our first trip to Florida.

  10. I love birding on Longboat Key! I went about 3 years ago. I want to go back. Your photos are fab and reminded me how wonderful birding is there.

  11. great series and photographs Julie

  12. A wonderful collection of photos as always! I'm so glad you are somewhere warm! Enjoy! (I love the photo of the Little blue heron!)

  13. Gorgeous photos as usual, can't wait to get to FL myself, enjoy!