Feeding Frenzy

Nine videos taken the same morning, February 5, 2022

A multi-day hatch of small fry around the time of a new moon triggered this Black Skimmers (scientific name: Rynchops niger) feeding behavior surf off Cocoa Beach, Brevard County on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Launch!

Another day, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Pre-dawn sky
Just Before Dawn
Rising Sun
Sunrise Surf
Motorized Boarder

beachcomber who told us of a rocket launch scheduled for just before sunset. Sure enough, here it is.

Rocket Launch

Sunrise and More

Another day, Cocoa Beach, Florida

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Canon dslr photographs

First Day

Cocoa Beach, Florida

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IPhone 7 photographs and videos

Sunrise
Sunrise Scan
Morning Surf
Willet Feeding
Kite Boarding
Rippling Surf Wash

Offering of Black Skimmer Photographs

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Looking for the perfect photo for your web site and blog?

Browse my reasonably priced stock photography.

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Click this link for my recently published Black Skimmers Feeding photographs. This link will open a new page to display my Black Skimmer photographs on Getty IStock.

These are different and higher quality images from my posting of earlier this week.

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Copyright 2018 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Black Skimmers Feeding

An early morning revelation

I published six fine art prints from this photo session. Click this link for any photograph to visit my new Florida Gallery.

One early morning, just after dawn, Cocoa Beach, Florida, I had a revelation.  My wife and I walk the beach four or more miles each day we are lucky enough to be in Florida for the winter.  Yes, we are “snow birds” who flee the snows of New York for a few weeks, now and then.
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We love to catch the sunrise together, have breakfast, pull together a lunch for a long walk.  We catch the passing beach scenery, find a place to enjoy our meal, and return late afternoon.

The Black Skimmer (Scientific Name: Rynchops niger) literally stands out from the gulls.  The individuals gather together in a large group.  If there is a wind, most group members face into it.  They are aloof and dignified, unlike the gulls who grift for food, obnoxious and bothersome if you make the mistake of throwing a gull a morsel.

Viewing Platform with Sheep – CLICK ME for more Ireland photography.

Black Skimmers are just as large a gulls.  Slender, tern-like, black and white bodies.  Recognize a Black Skimmer from the colorful red of the base of the bill.  If you view my Fine Art versions, notice the lower mandible is much longer.

Viewing Platform with Sheep – CLICK ME for more Ireland photography.

My early morning revelation was how the Black Skimmer feeds, flying just above the surf, the lower mandible extended to fish by feel.  Unless you beach walk early mornings, you will be most familiar with the habit of grouping together, facing into the wind. I captured this individual, a member of a larger group, just after sunrise, on Cocoa Beach. It was just me and the Skimmers.

Viewing Platform with Sheep – CLICK ME for more Ireland photography.

Their feeding is successful enough to allow them to longue on the beach most of the day.  I have only seen them feed early mornings.  Here is another part of their feeding behavior.  They feed as a group in long sweeping lengths.  At the end, they turn as a group and head the other way.  Here are three Black Skimmers in a turn.

Viewing Platform with Sheep – CLICK ME for more Ireland photography.

One morning, after our sunrise view, I pulled together my photography kit for this successful photo shoot.  Enjoy!!

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kite Encounter

catching the wind

Awhile after encountering the hydrofoil the same north wind powered a large, eight foot wingspan kite high overhead. Cheri Down Park, my meeting point for lunch with Pam, was in sight as I took a detour to talk with the kite flier.

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Seated in a comfortable beach chair, he turned a one foot diameter reel pulling the kite in. Kite flying was a relaxation for this permanent resident. As the kite descended overhead I caught this short video. In retrospect the beauty is ominous, a metaphor for the approaching novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photograph

Handheld Sailboard

catching the wind

A week after Rough Surf pounded Cocoa Beach a north wind was up, I set out on a long beach walk. Our plan was to meet at Cheri Down Park, Pam driving up with lunch.

After I emerged from under the Cocoa Beach pier, I spotted this sailboarder. At first it was the handheld sail that caught my attention, enough to capture this video. Watching the recording, I see his board is equipped with a hydrofoil. He is about a foot above the water.

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This rider has nothing on the Man O’War, of the post header image. Click this link to visit “Man O’War Beach Walk” on my blog.

Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photograph

Bright Surf, High Tide

Invasion

Morning walks through January 2020 were solitary events, more so on stormy morning such as this, January 23rd. Even the dog walkers stayed home. The surf surged to the dunes. Click me for my posting, “Rough Surf.”

Today’s photographs are a sequence of the surf’s high point. Click me for yesterday’s post including a video.

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The sun broke through between clouds to rake with light the beach scurf and wind scud. In the distance, a steady west gale blows surf onto itself as a white curtain.

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Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photography

Dawn Rough Surf High Tide

beyond belief

At dawn I walked on the beach from North 1st street to South 8th Street Cocoa Beach. Tide was at peak of high, the surf still high from gale winds. Click me for yesterday’s posting, “Rough Surf.”

In the first video, set the effect of a strong west wind pushing surf spray back onto itself, the ocean brightly lit across dunes. I was standing on a boardwalk access from South 8th Street.

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South 8th Street is my turnaround, walking back the squall clouds broke, releasing sunlight for this video.

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Squalls returned, forcing me to hide the DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) under my waterproof shell. Then, the squall broken once again, releasing sunlight for this double rainbow.

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Click this link to visit “Man O War Beach Walk” on my blog.

Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photography