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Dry Tortugas National Park: April 22-27, 2008

 

I had a wonderful return trip to a unique national treasure...

 


A Brown Noddy against a backdrop of beautiful water

 

Fort Jefferson greets the dawn

 

in the final minutes of daylight, the sun melts and spills its light into the ocean

 

male Blackpoll Warbler

 

Stalagmite-like formations from rainwater slowly seeping through the fort roof

 

A close-up of a male Magnificent Frigatebird with his gular sac (for display) inflated; notice the iridescent feathers that are typically not easy to see on this species

 

Twilight at the fort

 


Snorkeling anyone? This is part of the view from the Loggerhead lighthouse.

 

between two bastions in golden light

 

welcome to Loggerhead Key

 

Magnolia Warbler at the fountain inside the parade grounds of Fort Jefferson

 

seagrass surrounding Fort Jefferson - right along the seawall there are a variety of corals as well

 

a silent cannon...with a view

 

Broad-winged Hawk watching warblers drink from the fountain

 

It's a real treat to see the Sooty Terns nesting on Bush Key; especially when you know that these birds are known to their ability to aloft for years at a time.

 

Dr. Samuel Mudd's cell

 

a female Magnificent Frigatebird (7 ft wing span; 3 lbs in weight)

 

Sooty Terns stretch their wings and take flight at dawn

 

Cattle Egret stalks the parade grounds of Fort Jefferson for both insects and small birds

 

A Masked Booby pair from the only breeding colony in the contiguous U.S.

 

Parade grounds and harbor light; Fort Jefferson

 

A Magnificent Frigatebird sitting on her nest

 

A long exposure before dawn.

On the left side of this image you can see some of the results of recent restorations to the fort.

Bricks that were previously crumbling into the moat have been repaired or replaced.

 

my temporary home on the island

 

Note: Several of these images were taken on keys that are typically off limits.

I was fortunate to be working with a group of researchers and took precautions

to ensure that my actions did not harm the birds.

 

Most spotlight photographs can be purchased as fine-art prints or notecards.

Please send me an email if you would like to discuss details. Thanks.

 

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   Images Judd Patterson