Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fish & Ships

Now that Daffy and Stephen have left Florida and I have a bit more time, I thought I'd go over the 1,000 or more photos that I took and do a few posts about their trip here.

On one of her posts, Daphne told of how she was swimming over on the West Coast (Sand Keys near Clearwater Beach) and was being dive bombed by birds. They were mostly pelicans and although they weren't quite on top of her, so to speak, they were very close.

I was on the beach with camera in hand and tried to get a record of this event. The few I got with Daphne in the same shot as the birds weren't very good and so I'm settling for a few images of just the birds themselves. Sadly I never got good quality consecutive shots of the same bird from flying along to diving and then entering the water and so these photos are of different birds, coming from different directions and so I'm sorry if this spoils the effect.

It was very cool to see.

This one is to set the scene. The pelicans would just be flying serenely along, minding their own business, when one or more would spot a fish in the water below (ok where else !!) and begin the dive.

This is the dive, just in case you needed a visual aid ! Remember that this was all over in seconds so not only was the pelican's eyesight pretty amazing, but I'm sure that at that very moment, the fish were swimming along thinking what a nice day it was to be a fish.

"Might stay in and watch 'Finding Nemo' again tonight"

"You've seen that movie like 20 times already (Jewish fish)"

"Yeah but let's face it, what else do I have to do tonight" ?

"That's true too. Fancy a drink after ?"

"Nah, I've been drinking all day"

"Well the offer still stands. See you after the movie"

"Ok, I'll be along later and we can - what the fu....."

"Bert ? Bert ? Where'd ya go, Bert" ?

The problem with taking these photos was that I'd be tracking the bird, or birds, down from the sky and so I never knew when the water would appear in the frame and the dive would be over. This also meant that I'd never be sure what else would appear in the area around the birds and on one occasion, I captured this bizarre scene.

No it's not a still from "The Goonies" but simply a pirate ship which, thanks to a cheap knockoff GPS device from Taiwan, had confused the West Coast of Florida with the East Coast of Somalia. A natural mistake and not helped by signs pointing to a Treasure Island just a few miles further down the coast.

This was Daphne's first swim in the waters of the Gulf Of Mexico and I think she'll remember it mostly because of the pelicans.

I'm sure she made an impression on them too !!


Daphne said...

Fantastic photos of a wonderful swim which I know I'll never forget. Thank you also for this post which gave me a much-needed huge laugh.

Katherine said...

Amazing shots SB. I especially love the last one.

Jennyta said...

Those photos are brilliant, Ian!

Debby said...

The pirate ship was after Daphne's handbag!

Milo said...

Loved the pics! I'm not a great bird watcher *cough* but did like those ones of the birds in flight. Very tricky to catch I would have thought. Well done!

rhymeswithplague said...

I wonder if you knew Sand Key was the site of Jim Bakker's famous tryst with Jessican Hahn....

rhymeswithplague said...

Here's a poem that fits the post!

What a wonderful bird is the pelican,
His mouth can hold more than his belican,
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I know how the helican.

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