3/20 - Coons, Gators, Birds a Fishin' and a Flyin'

Started Mar 20, 2017 | Discussions thread
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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 29,415
3/20 - Coons, Gators, Birds a Fishin' and a Flyin'

We've got ourselves a southern-style thread today - all the 'usual suspects' in the wetlands and swamps.  Aside from the birds doing their thing - some perching birds in the shady forest canopy, some wading birds climbing reeds, jumping on fish, and flying around with their catch, I'm also mixing in a raccoon and a napping alligator.

All shots taken with the A6300 and FE70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS combo in and around Green Cay Wetlands and Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, FL.  All shots posted at 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals.

Most of these shots were dealing with challenging light - shady tree cover, harsh early afternoon high sun, even a little rule-breaking...such as don't shoot into the sun.  But rules are for breaking sometimes too!

A curious raccoon walking through the forest and checking me out to see if I'm a threat.  I had to shoot him with strong backlight

"My, what big feet you have!" ..."The better to climb the reeds, my dear!".  This juvenile purple gallinule was adeptly using those big feet and long toes to get a higher view

A warmish day, so this gator decided to take a nap half-in and half-out of the water, at the edge of a cypress island.  But he's not totally unaware - the eye stayed open to keep watch on photographers bothering him

Tricolor heron, standing out in the open on a pile of dead, matted reeds

The little birds just love to taunt photographers - sitting nicely still for a rare moment, but only when in heavy shade.  This yellow-rumped warbler was cooperative, but the light was not - fortunately he was far enough from the canopy behind for some nice background blur

A tricolor heron actively hunting.  Their style is to make noises, jump around, chase, run, and try to stab at fish - unlike other herons that are more patient and wait for the fish to come in range.  This one was full of action, but also strongly backlit by the sun

The backlight can be interesting though - gives a nice glow to the splashes of water and through the wings as he plunges his head into the water mid-flight

I posted a sneak peak of this one in a previous thread - but here's more of the sequence.  A heavily backlit great blue heron who had just caught a nice fish, and was flying off to eat it - he had just jumped out of the water and taken flight

Proudly flying off with his catch with backlit wings skimming the water

A great egret, flying just off the water, started to lift higher to go over a small pond-apple island

A cattle egret in flight - showing his nice mating colors in his face - normally just plain pale yellow bill, he takes on these nice rich oranges and reds to turn on the ladies

A female anhinga coming in to land, noisily calling ahead to her mate to warn of her arrival.  She'll be relieving him of nest sitting duty

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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