The Birds of Marco Island

Marco Island is an outstanding place for photographing birds. Birds that are somewhat commonplace for us, but wildly exotic if you’re from, oh, England for example. Or Massachusetts. As our photographer, Paul Sullivan, is. We’ll tell you what he has to do with OLLI at the end of this article, but first, let’s take a look at his photographs

Brown Pelican
Juvenile Brown Pelican

Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters, where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface. They are gregarious birds, travelling in flocks, hunting cooperatively, and breeding colonially. (Wikipedia)

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican
Reddish Egret
Red-eared Slider

The osprey, also called sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk — is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upper parts and predominantly greyish on the head and under parts. (Wikipedia)

Tasty snack
Snowy Egret
Green Heron Fledgling
Black Skimmer

We’ll introduce you to the photographer in just a moment. But first we want to make you aware of some upcoming OLLI classes that will put you on your way to being a nature photographer.
The Basics: Getting the Most from You Digital Camera with Dave Lockwood
Master iPhone Cameras, Photos and More
Better Composition for Outdoor Photography with Donna McGrew

Introduction to Photo Processing with Dave Lockwood

Edit Your Photos with Microsoft Photos with Donna McGrew

Apple Photo Editing Basics for Your Mac with Jeanne Dyer

You can create opportunities to practice your new skills with two of our Shared Interest Groups (SIGs): the OLLI Shutterbugs and OLLI Outdoors.

Paul Sullivan has a background in physics and engineering and has a good understanding of how a camera works and what a photograph “is”. Since retiring a few years ago, he has spent his time studying and writing about photography and trying to understand what a photograph “does”. He is fascinated by a camera’s ability to capture, store, and retrieve actual photon data from the past and a photograph’s ability to transport and share these moments from history with everyone for eternity. He also had the good luck to become friends with Cath Mason while they were at Warwick University together. He was the best man at Cath’s wedding, and visited them on Cath’s recent vacation on Marco Island. Fortunately, he brought his camera along. Cath persuaded him to share his photos with us.

Kudos to Diane White for her help in identifying the turtle and most of the birds.

5 Replies to “The Birds of Marco Island”

  1. Hi Paul, your photos are WONDERFUL! The close-up of the sea hawk is priceless . . . Such artistry!
    I see many birds and other creatures in the back of my house: sea hawks, cardinals, egrets, herons, turtles, deer, and foxes. “My” two baby human-size alligators sun themselves in my backyard next to the pond. Once a heron scared one and he jumped in the water–such lack of character!

  2. These are wonderful photographs. Each one is stunning. Paul Sullivan has a great sense of composition. He has captured the essence of his subjects from the clumsy charm of the brown pelican to the sinister snout of the alligator. I even found the close up of the” lubber” on the contrasting stones somewhat appealing .
    I particularly like the shape , the movement and the muted colours of the Fishermen.
    I hope that he returns to Florida and shares more of his work with us.
    Thanks Cath for persuading him to show his remarkable photos.

  3. Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing. I love watching animals, even when it’s just around the pond in my backyard.

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