Monthly Archives: October 2011
A few shots from this evening’s Sunset ride around Cedar Key…
Another enjoyable thing to do at Cedar Key is to explore the area on a golf cart. Here are a few shots from this evening’s twilight ride…
In the above shot an Egret works the shallow water during low tide as the sun sets over the Gulf.
One of the most enjoyable things to do at Cedar Key is to take an evening stroll. It is very quiet and peaceful, and most evenings the weather is very pleasant.
Here are a few shots from this evening…
While grabbing shots of the Black Skimmers I noticed a Willet rooting around along the Cedar Key beach shoreline.
This afternoon I noticed three skimmers that were lounging around on the Cedar Key beach – while the rest of the scoop was grouped together on the sandbar in front of Cedar Cove Condos. Since the birds seemed quite accustomed to people on the beach, it made for a perfect opportunity to get some close-up shots.
At first glance the bird on the left could easily be mistaken for being wounded or even dead.
This bird is perfectly healthy – this is a typical resting position for Skimmers.
This shot illustrates the shape of these birds in a standing position.
These shots show the mandibles from a front view and side view. Notice how thin the bill is for slicing through the water as they “skim” for small fish.
Another bird taking a rest…
This afternoon I noticed that a sizable group of Black Skimmers had collected on the sand bar in front of the Cedar Cove Condos.
Assuming that they probably aren’t called “groups” I checked the internet and soon found that a group of skimmers are collectively known as a “conspiracy”, “embezzlement”, and “scoop” of skimmers.
To get a few shots of them I grabbed my Canon 100-400mm lens and positioned myself knee deep in the ocean, about 75 yards from the birds.
This shot shows most of the “scoop”.
I had been photographing and observing them from a good distance away when all of a sudden they took flight. If you have never seen a scoop of Skimmers take off, it is quite a sight.
The following shots will give you an idea of what an fascinating sight it is..
If you look close in some of the shots you will notice an occasional Gull or Tern mixed in with them.
A nice sized scoop of Black Skimmers will often collect right on the Cedar Key beach too.
A Skimmer comes in for a landing… In this shot you can see that their bottom mandible is longer than their top one.
A couple of tidbits about Black Skimmers…
• At hatching, the two mandibles are equal in length, but by fledging at four weeks, the lower mandible is already nearly 1 cm longer than the upper.
• The Black Skimmer is the only bird species in the United States that has a larger lower mandible than upper mandible