another great day in florida!
November 29, 2009 Photography
Yesterday I met up with Rob, Raees, Gary and Don and we did the STA-5 birding tour in Clewiston. STA-5 is a stormwater treatment area about 20 miles south of the town. “The stormwater treatment areas, owned and operated by the South Florida Water Management District, are vast, constructed wetlands that use vegetation to naturally cleanse excess nutrients from water before it enters the Everglades. These remote, shallow-water marshes attract many species of nesting wading birds, migratory and other water fowl such as great blue herons, wood storks, snowy egrets, great egrets and roseate spoonbills.”
The only way to visit STA-5 is with a tour. You can go out there anytime and walk the levy but to cover the whole area it would probably take you several days! With the tours, they allow you to drive your car on the levy. We saw so much wildlife yesterday it was incredible. It was a beautiful and slightly cold morning, but all of us got many shots we were really pleased with.
I actually was able to add a few more things to my ‘list’ (a mental list of animals I haven’t photographed yet.). A Peregrine Falcon and a Purple Swamphen were some of the unique birds I was able to get yesterday. The Purple Swamphen is actually a non-native (exotic) species that was introduced to south Florida when some escaped from captivity in Broward County. It’s a bird they are keeping an eye on because they think it might be bad for the environment. The falcon was a huge bonus, I hadn’t expected to get one of those (I was actually hoping for a Harrier).
And, the ‘icing on the cake’ or the ‘piece de resistance’ was a Florida Bobcat. I was finally able to get my very first decent shot of one. I’ve got a couple shots on the hard drive but they consist of blurry little fuzzy bobcats far off in the distance. Don was driving and Gary and I were with him. I was looking around as we drove to see what we could spot and I saw something white down by the canal, I looked and thought I saw ears! And sure enough, it was a bobcat. We were all super excited to get a shot of this guy!
Peregrine Falcon (the image is a little noisy, my iso was actually up too high, although it did provide me with an fstop of 1/4000!)