Whenever I have portrait sessions at Fort Pickens I would notice a colony of black skimmers on the beach. Every time I would see them I would make a mental note to make a specific trip to photograph the birds when things slowed down. Last month I made such a trip and it wasn't a disappointment.
Black skimmers are interesting birds and the first thing you would probably notice as being odd about them is they have a severe under bite. This is because they feed by flying over the water, and scooping up their prey. Their bottom bill acts like a plow through the water. From the profile, their bill looks really big and thick. However, from the front the bill looks almost razor thin.
Black skimmers can be seen on shorelines throughout the Gulf Coast. They will share beach space with terns and gulls. However, the do not seem to like great blue herons as the photography set shows. A great blue heron walked up to the colony of skimmers and terns and they immediately flew away. It was a humorous scene as it appeared the heron had fun disrupting the resting birds.
I saw a few juvenile skimmers among the colony and that was a great sight. Among the skimmers were various terns. They fed throughout the time I was there but the skimmers were content to relax on the beach. However, some of the skimmers started to feed at sunset. This was the shot I really wanted. By the time they were active the sun dipped below the horizon so I didn't have much time but it was enough. After getting the shots I looked East and was treated to a moonrise over the beach. All shots taken with the Fuji X-T2 and 100-400mm lens. Another great evening on the Gulf Coast!