Birds and a big gator!

Our drive through the refuge on Sunday afternoon was nice and quiet.  Not a ton of birds around when we went through, but enough to get some pics.  It looked like there weren't going to be any gators out for pics, but we finally came across one.  He was swimming back and forth, watching those of us on the embankment with much interest.  

These Reddish Egrets weren't doing their funny little dance, but they are still fun to watch!

One lone Roseate Spoonbill . . . and quite a distance away.  I always have to take a photo of them when I see them, anyway!

We almost missed this Tri-Colored Heron.  People had stopped and were out of their cars taking photos of an Osprey in a nest on the opposite side of the road, and this beauty was standing right behind them!

A Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron (below) looks so different from the adult in the next pic.  It's hard to believe they are the same bird!

This adult Yellow-Crowned Night Heron below was doing his best to crack this turtle shell.

These little Fiddler Crabs are so small and blend into their background so well, that all you really see is something move.  You have to look closer to really see them.  They love to wave around that one big claw!

This next photo was taken at a very long distance.  All I could see were two birds that seemed to be colliding in the air, so I just snapped a photo.  They were fighting over a Sheepshead fish.  I wouldn't want to see those talons coming at me!!

This 8 foot gator was swimming back and forth right in front of us.

When an 8 foot gator turns and starts toward where you are standing, you tend to start backing up!  The water was so clear that you can see his body under the water, too!