I left the house @ 4:45 am with 2 kayaks loaded up, to pick up a photographer friend Andy Nguyen ( http://www.wildwingsphotography.com/). We were on the water at Lake Hancock (Lakeland,FL) before sunrise. From the first picture of Andy in the kayak, you will see that Andy shoots a 600mm lens he calls The BEAST. We both mised some early shots, because I had the AC on in the truck and our lenses were fogged until they warmed up a little.
Lake Hancock is the lake that borders another popular birding/photography destination, Circle B Bar Reserve. Summer isn't the best time of year for birding in Florida, but we had enough bird action to keep it interesting. Herons, Egrets, Anhingas, Cormorants and other usual summer birds were plentiful, as well as 3 Bald Eagles and a Kingfisher recently returned from up north.
The launch is in a small creek at the north end of the lake. The creek banks and trees were lined with lots of Black Vultures, and I caught some drinking and bathing. Andy spotted movement on shore and found a Red-shouldered Hawk on the ground with a fresh catch. We never could get a clean enough shot to see what he caught. Another great day on the water in Florida!