June 9, 2021
Over the past two months I have been out in the field at Fort Monroe National Monument capturing a lot of wildlife and nature photography images. Fort Monroe National Monument is located at the tip of the Virginia Peninsula in Hampton, Virginia. I have spent quite a bit of time at Fort Monroe, even spending a one full day there from sunrise to sunset. I have been fortunate to photograph a variety of birds as well as different compositions of sunrises and a sunset at Fort Monroe. The potential for wildlife photography and nature photography is very good, as usually every time I photograph there, I see something new such as a different species of bird or a different composition for a sunrise or even a sunset.
Sunrise Photography at Fort Monroe
There are a variety of potential sunrise compositions that can be found along the beaches at Fort Monroe National Monument. The sunrise compositional elements that are located at Fort Monroe include the jetty rocks, fishing piers, sandbars at low tide, beach grass, and of course, sand and the water. The sunrise photography at Fort Monroe has given me many different opportunities to find a different type of sunrise image each time I have photographed the sunrise there.
The beaches at Fort Monroe are right near the channel of the mouth of the Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay. Therefore, one of the most interesting compositional elements that I have found are the cargo ships, tankers, fishing boats and sailboats that are often in the channel in the early morning, and I have begun to include some of these boats and ships into my sunrise compositions. I believe that, with being here in the Hampton Roads of Virginia area, including in the images some of the commercial ships or local fishing boats that travel the area could have good potential for conservation related images for conservation organizations in Hampton Roads and/or Virginia.
Bird Photography at Fort Monroe
Being in the field at Fort Monroe National Monument weekly for the last two months has provided me many opportunities for wildlife photography, especially birds. I have photographed and observed a diverse amount of bird species over these last two months at Fort Monroe National Monument. Of course, there are about 8 pairs of ospreys nesting along the Mill Creek of Fort Monroe, and the osprey are often seen flying around Fort Monroe as well as hanging out at their nesting platforms and on top of light poles. Shorebirds that I have observed and photographed at the beaches and along the rocky shoreline of the Hampton Roads include ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, spotted sandpiper, and a pair of American oystercatchers with their one chick.
I have spent a bit of time photographing a yellow-crowned night heron along the low tide mudflats of Mill Creek. I have photographed this yellow-crowned night heron catching and eating fiddler crabs and larger crabs. These herons would catch their prey and then walk back closer to the shoreline to devour their meal.
Other birds that I have observed in the field at Fort Monroe National Monument include bluebirds, purple martins, Eastern kingbirds, clapper rails, red-breasted mergansers snowy egrets, black ducks, ospreys, juvenile bald eagles, common loons, horned grebes, buffleheads, laughing gulls, common terns, royal terns, and black skimmers.
Sunset Photography at Fort Monroe
Most of my in the field time photographing at Fort Monroe National Monument has been in the early mornings, but recently I did stay for sunset. I wanted to see what the potential was for sunset photography along Mill Creek at Fork Monroe. Due to the angle and location of the setting sun during the spring and summer, there are not a lot of compositional opportunities for sunset photography at Fort Monroe National Monument during this time frame. However, I have discovered that the best location for the spring and summer sunset photography is the marsh area in Mill Creek behind the campground at the end of Fort Monroe.
Location of Fort Monroe National Monument
Fort Monroe National Monument is located at the tip of the Virginia Peninsula in Hampton, Virginia. Fort Monroe is surrounded by the Hampton Roads, the Chesapeake Bay and Mill Creek.
In my recent time at Fort Monroe National Monument, the variety of wildlife and naturescapes and the gorgeous sunrises really does make this place special and a haven for wildlife photography and nature photography. Even though my weekly in-the-field shooting visits at Fort Monroe may start to be more sporadic visits, this is definitely a location where I will continue to spend a lot of time photographing.
Thank you for reading my Field Notes blog, and I hope you will share this post with others.
Let’s protect our wildlife and nature!
All the very best,
Copyright © 2021 Lori A Cash
- Today is Nature Photography Day
- Volunteering with Wild Virginia
- In the Field at Fort Monroe National Monument
- Caring for the Environment with Beachside Litter Challenge with Keep Norfolk Beautiful
- Link to My Interview with Born To Talk Radio Show Podcast
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