As is my tradition, at the end of the year, I put out a list of what I consider my best photographs of the year. They are in order based on my favorite first.
Coming in at #1 is this image of a ruby-throated hummingbird shaking his head and throwing nectar in all directions. I love both the gesture in this image as well as the the red pentunias. The clean green background also helps to make this image a success.
At #2, is this image of a large white-tailed buck in velvet. There are times, where you go out to photograph a species, knowing that it will be very difficult to get the shot you are looking for. In this case, I looked to my right while walking through the woods and there he was. A beautiful eight point deer.
At #3, I have a first for me. That is I photographed the northern harrier (marsh hawk) for the first time. Not only that, but this image of the hawk banking hard left. This imaged was photographed at Lake Apopka, Florida.
#4 goes to this male bluebird departing the nestbox after dropping off food for his youngsters in the nest. Bluebirds are some of the hardest working birds in the birding world. This was a great addition to The Bluebird Project. Taken in Forsyth County, NC.
# 5 goes to this fall image of leaves reflecting in the water. I love the myriad of different colors and the American coot helps support the context of the shot. Taken in Forsyth County, NC.
#6 presents us with a goal met. I set out 2022 with a goal of trying to get shots of white-tailed deer fawns. It seemed like every time I went out, I would spot them, but they were in the wrong lighting or location for a good shot. One morning this fawn was crossing this fence, and I thought it made a cute photograph.
My trip to Florida brings us the second image at #7; an osprey standing proudly with is fresh catch. Although this image is fairly common in the world of raptor photography, it was a first for me. I love the white background, which makes the bird and fish stand out so well.
This blue-winged teal comes in at #8. Although this image has nothing inherently amazing going on, it represents another first for me. Taking photographs of ducks in flight is very difficult and is always something we can be proud of as nature photographers.
At #9, I have this red-shouldered hawk. I love the lighthing and pose in this image. The dappled side lighting set this image off and the background has the same lighting fading off to darkness.
#10 is always the hardest image to find. I fought in my mind among several contenders. In the end, I chose this image of an anhinga preparing to eat an armored catfish. This was the fourth image to make the top 10 from my Florida trip.