Beautiful Wetlands Day: Nests and Babies (55-210+DH1758)

Started May 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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zackiedawg
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Beautiful Wetlands Day: Nests and Babies (55-210+DH1758)
May 21, 2013

Saturday was a strange day - started out with a chance of thunderstorms - clouds loomed large by the time I was ready to head out around 11am.  It was raining when I left my house, and sprinkling all the way to the wetlands.  No rain was falling there, so I hit the wetlands with umbrella in hand, and decided to bring the NEX-5N + 55-210mm lens + DH1758, because it's easier to hide under an umbrella and can fit in a ziploc bag if it pours and I need protection.  Though it started out a little overcast, the sun actually broke through within the first 10 minutes there.  I got hit by a 5 minute light sunshower that passed over about an hour in, then the sun stayed out and the storms stayed away the remainder of the time I was there - about 3 more hours.  And the birds were out in force!  Great views of local waders, large numbers of birds nesting, some already had their chicks and were tending to them...late spring into summer is a time of babies in Florida's wetlands...there were no shortage of subjects to shoot!  Here goes:

The first thing I hit for the day was a nesting pair of yellow-crowned night herons, just 10 short feet away - they're building their nests right over a path, so close that last week I actually photographed them with a 35mm prime lens!  This is the female.

And here's the male yellow-crowned night heron standing on the nest he was still building.  They've already mated, so she should be close to putting down her eggs.

A black-necked stilt standing tall in the shallows - they've still got a few nests that haven't yet hatched, but most of their chicks are now out and about

Another stilt - they're very elegant and pretty birds...though a bit noisy when they're protecting their nests and chicks!

This pretty little bird is a least bittern - a male, which can be determined by the amount of black on the head and back - the female tends to be more brown.  This is an adult male, and recently had 4 healthy chicks hatch.

And speaking of chicks - here's one of them!  This least bittern chick was roaming around the low reeds away from the nest - note all the peach-fuzz white hairs which shows that it's a youngster.

Here's one of the other kids roaming about - this one was about 15 feet from the other, getting to know its neighborhood.

A younger great blue heron, recently left the nest and now learning to hunt on its own

Another youngster - this tricolor heron was also nearby learning its own fishing techniques.

And this adorable, fuzzy little guy is a baby black-necked stilt - very close up.  I had the camera lens stuck through the bottom crack of a handrail down by my feet, shooting off the LCD tilted up to me, so the camera could be as low to the water as possible.

And one more species of baby chicks - these two are green heron chicks, sitting in their nest waiting for mom or dad to return with some food.  Ugly and cute at the same time, right?

Hope you enjoyed a look at some nesting birds and baby birds on a nice wetlands day.

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed.

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Justin
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