Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Massive Gator Spotted In Buttonwood Bay !!

Here in sunny Buttonwood Bay we used to have a gator which would sun itself on a mud bank close to the Cafe On The Lake. It was almost like a faithful 'pet' but I use the word advisedly as it was not the sort of pet you'd want to get up close and personal with.

A couple of weeks ago some idiots fed it scraps and so it became a threat to us humans as with no fences, it could easily approach any of the nearby homes and make short work of the screen doors to gain entry in it's search for more food.

So it had to go. I'm not 100% sure it was removed on the specified day as it wasn't always on it's mud bank but in any case, no one has seen it for a week or so. As the only wild gator I've ever seen, this development was most upsetting.

About an hour ago we were taking a ride on our golf cart along the path that follows the canal that leads from Lake Josephine when someone pointed out a gator across the water on the far bank. It was easy to spot but was quite a distance away and so I came back to get my camera with it's 200mm zoom lens to try and get some photos of it.

Sadly it was a busy time on the canal as boats were moving up and down due to the fishing contest that was taking place. By the time we got back, the gator was gone.


Anyway the pathway is always a good place to see our old feathered friends and once again, they didn't disappoint. This time I had my new tripod and so was able to get slightly better shots than I'd managed before using the monopod.

I've taken many similar photos over the past 5 months and posted several on here so this time I'll just include 2 which are a little bit different.

Having the tripod was very useful for sharp focusing but it was the ability of the camera to take 3 frames per second that made this shot possible.

I'd also set the shutter speed to 1/400th of a second to ensure it's body would be sharp and yet it's wings would be a blur. It had just had a dip in the water and had conveniently perched on a post to dry itself out.

After a bit of preening, it shook it's wings the way a dog shakes water of itself but unlike a dog, the bird was able to keep it's body perfectly steady during the process which is why I've got it in sharp focus. Ok so the 1/400th of a second helped too !!

Although this image has been greatly resized to get it on here, you can still click on it to see it a bit bigger. Even this bigger image is only 78kb whereas the original image is 3.8mb's.

Further down the path we came to the usual assortment of birds waiting for anything the returning fishermen would toss to them.

This fella would stand still and pose with only it's thin tongue wobbling up and down.

It also vibrated the top part of it's long neck and again, I've no idea why it did either of these things.

Maybe it was excited about the prospect of some fish bits coming it's way or maybe it was just warning me from getting any closer but in any case, these were the only bits of it's body that were moving.

I didn't need the tripod !!

And that was it. Another typical drive along the canal path. Sadly no gators to show you, but I've 3 weeks left before I return to the UK, so I live in hope.

Oh and as you may have gathered by now, the title of this post was ever so slightly exaggerated to get your attention.

My bad.


Daphne said...

Hey, birds that I recognise - some kind of crow, some kind of heron - great photos.
No alligators were spotted in the river at Saltaire today. Well, not by me, anyway.

Debby said...

I saw the gator...does that count?

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