Just to prove that I am, in fact, capable of photographing things other than snakes and lizards, here’s a perky Black-and-white warbler, Mniotilta varia, I photographed in Big Cypress National Preserve. Though I may head down south for the snake-and-lizard goodness, many other folks travel down to the same area for the bird action. There’s certainly plenty of bird action to go around, and birders are always easy to spot (binoculars in hand, strapped around the neck, eyes gazing upwards into the tangled canopy).
I’ll share with you a little trick I have… When I find a particularly nifty snake or lizard just as somebody else is approaching, I’ll gaze upwards into the canopy above — pretending I see a bird. The passing person or people-horde will look up, trying to see what I see. If they ask me what I see, I’ll say something generic like, “A neat, little bird.” They’ll lean forward, squint, and maybe see a random warbler. And then they’ll move on. A few minutes later, once the field is clear, I can do my herp work without being harassed by the otherwise-fine-people-I’m-sure. People can be really aggressive when it comes to reptiles, so I do my best to not draw attention to them when I’m out working. I admit it.