Horned Grebe – Black Point Drive; Merritt Island NWR, Florida: I have made numerous trips to Merritt Island NWR over the years, but it has only been in the last year or so that I have found the refuge to be photographical productive. This weekend Black Point Drive hosted more birds than I have ever seen at the refuge. 3.4 miles into the drive I found this Horned Grebe feeding in an impoundment next to a parking area.
I could not believe my luck. Only minutes earlier I had photographed horned grebes in another impoundment, but the birds were too far away and I was not happy with any of the resulting images. This grebe was swimming along the shoreline of an impoundment and there were other photographers shooting. The bird seemed oblivious to their presence as it swam less than fifteen feet away.
Within minutes I was kneeling in the wet sand, along side the other photographers shooting eye level images. The bird was incredibly active. Its head was constantly bobbing back and forth and it was continually diving under the water. The bird was never still! Because of the fast action, I sacrificed depth of field and chose a fast shutter speed to stop the action. Fortunately, as this image attest, it was a good choice. When all was over, there were four very happy bird photographers.