The Big Birds - Flying and Sitting (55-210+DH1758)

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zackiedawg
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The Big Birds - Flying and Sitting (55-210+DH1758)
7 months ago

This past weekend I was out shooting on a lovely Sunday, cooler weather finally making things more tolerable out in the wetlands where I didn't have to sweat my way through my shirt.  The big wading birds are out in force this time of year - it's mating and nesting time, so they're all very active, flying all around, nesting in trees and bushes, and really not caring much about people getting close to them - most of the time you can close to within 20-30 feet of the nests without disturbing them, and they'll fly directly at you often too close to focus on with a telephoto, as they'll graze your head.

I had shot on Saturday with the DSLR, and decided to shoot Sunday with the NEX to give myself a break from the weight and bulk of the big rig...so all shots are with the NEX-5N, 55-210mm lens, and Sony DH1758 1.7x teleextender.  All shots taken using autofocus, stabilization on, handheld, no tripod...Flying shots are a mix of multipoint and spot focus, AF-S at all times just cycling the shutter button to refocus on moving targets...still shots are all spot focus, AF-S.

A double-crested cormorant flying by at high speed

One of the big guys coming in - the great egret coming through the shadowed landscape

As he turned, he caught the brilliant yellow of the low sun in the bright open sky

A great blue heron guarding the nest while waiting for the mate to return

The mate returned, and the pair nestled together on the nest

An anhinga stretching its neck - the blue color around the eye only occurs when they're in their mating phase

Here's an anhinga sitting on the nest - you can see the blue around the eyes and the black under the bill for mating colors

A great blue heron fully stretched out after taking off, to go gather some more sticks for the nest

Not my best osprey shot, as he decided to turn and soar up just as I acquired him - always neat birds to shoot, anyway!

Anhinga on its nest, wings out to dry.  You get a sense of just how many nesting birds you see in a small space - you can see the head of a nesting great blue heron to the right, and in the background a cormorant sitting on a nest.  There are 17 nests in this single, 20-foot long tree island!

Comments, questions, critique welcomed as always.

Hope you enjoyed a winter nesting visit with the big birds of Florida.

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Justin
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Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +24 more
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