Oct 17: Water Birds, Snake, Fuzzy Rodent & Backyard Birds (FE100-400)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 29,987
Oct 17: Water Birds, Snake, Fuzzy Rodent & Backyard Birds (FE100-400)

This post, I've got a mix of stuff - a mix of different animals, different birds, mix of locations with the wetlands and my backyard, a mix of shooting setups (with the 1.4x TC and without).  It's just a big old mixed bag!  This post will also get my wildlife and birding posts up to October 1, so we're in the same month, and not too far behind.  There were so many shots in the last few posts of migrating birds and passerines in the trees, that this time I wanted to go back to some of our local Florida wading and water birds.

All shots taken with the A6300 and FE100-400mm lens - all of the shots in the wetlands were taken around Green Cay Wetlands and all with the 1.4x TC attached...the backyard shots were all taken without the TC from my swimming pool.

As always, all shots are posted at 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

A young little blue heron - still white in color, caught himself a lovely fish dinner

I got the sense they really were looking at each other here - the fish's eye is looking up pleadingly at the young heron, and the heron is a typically ruthless bird - sad pleading looks don't work on birds at all!

This guy has to be careful, because he can definitely become a bird's meal!  This banded watersnake was staying in the reeds to stay hidden - using that tongue to 'taste' his way around for any possible food sources nearby

A juvenile ibis standing up on the handrail - and not caring one bit about a person with a lens walking by.  He'll eventually be all white with the red bill and legs...but juvies start out darker with lots of brown

Looking down on a green heron, standing in the muck

Lazy fisherman - this anhinga was just standing on a palm tree that fell in Hurricane Irma, and letting the current bring things to him - he'd reach down and pick up potential food - usually just branches which he'd spit out again...rather than diving down and fishing like a proper anhinga!

Many palm trees are weakened by woodpeckers making homes inside - then they snap or break when the winds pick up, or when hurricanes come by.  This enterprising green heron found the hollowed stump of the palm to be a nice overlook point to watch for fish and stay in some shade

The very very wee little blue-grey gnatcatcher - one of the few tree birds I've included from the wetlands this week - he was in the shade, and hopping around behind the branches so it took some hunting and panning to stay with him until he hit an opening in the leaves

An unplanned BIF with the 1.4x TC - I noticed this collared dove flying in towards me, so I quickly moved the lens up, switched to MR2 (my BIF bank) and grabbed a shot - by the next frame he was over my head - I thought he was trying to land on my head, but he came in about 10 feet behind me

Now, off with the 1.4x TC, into the pool, and shooting the backyard...

Blue jays are sort of like pigeons would be to New Yorkers - they're everywhere, they're noisy, and they're not shy.  They're almost like the pigeons of Florida.  But at least they're very pretty for such a common pesty bird!

I did mention they're everywhere?  When I put out bird seed, dozens of jays turn up - loudly squawking to try to scare off other birds, and pecking at one another for seeds or peanuts.  This one was overwatching from the palm tree, waiting to swing down onto another bird's head

The mockingbirds show up too - but they're not very aggressive compared to the jays and often wait somewhere quiet for the other birds to leave so they can come in and get some seeds.  This one was chilling on a limb of my hibiscus, staying out of the way - he's a juvenile

If the blue jays are as common as pigeons, squirrels are as common here as rats in the city...I guess if you're going to be overrun with rodents, these ones are a bit more pleasant looking, and they're kind of funny too. This one was running towards the gathering of birds eating seed - they'll charge right in and scatter the birds so they can grab the nuts and seeds

Closeup of a grey squirrel, sitting on his haunches and eating seed after seed after seed - you can see his tossed debris of sunflower shells all around

This squirrel was on his Mission Impossible quest - he was walking out onto ever-thinner papaya limbs, and straddling two at once to try to spread his weight, hoping to get out to the end close enough that he could jump to the next tree - he was about 20 feet up, so he didn't want to fall - but those two branches were wobbling under his weight.  He made it though!

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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