Orange Lizard, Hawk w/Purple Lunch, Birds & BIFs (Feb 20th)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 29,070
Orange Lizard, Hawk w/Purple Lunch, Birds & BIFs (Feb 20th)

I don't want to get too far back with the wildlife posts, and I'll be mixing in some Disney trip photos in between, so to keep up the pace here's another in the wildlife and bird series from a busy Jan 13th out in the wetlands.

One warning this time - there are some graphic shots in here that might upset those who don't like watching the circle of life in action...the hawk caught himself a large bird and he didn't finish his whole plate, so there are some messy remains visible in the shot.  I'm posting those at the end so they shouldn't appear on your screen when you first view this post - if you don't want to see it, don't scroll down to the bottom.

Anyway, the following shots were taken at Green Cay Wetlands and Wakodahatchee Wetlands, with the A6300 and FE100-400mm lens combo.  It was a nice cool day, sunny and clear, temps in the upper 60s for a change...took lots of shots that day!

All shots posted at 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

Nice big orange lizard - the green iguana males are going orange for mating - and in the cool, they're trying to get some sun to stay warm.  This one had just run off another male - you can see his skidmarks in the leaves and the pile of leaves under him from the sliding stop.  Note I'm only at 100mm here!

Zooming in to 300mm from just 8-9 feet away let me get a nice closeup portrait of this older male - note how he's not able to get the orange pigment going in his head much, except around the eye

A basilisk lizard, climbing up on a branch to try to get himself more sunlight

A low-flying cormorant coming in to land

It might seem counter-intuitive to get in the water when it's cold out - but this green iguana figured out that in brief cold spells, the waters maintain their warmth from the previous days, and was probably warmer than the mid-60s temps out in the air!  He was soaking like this all day as if in a jacuzzi

An eastern phoebe on a lookout branch, watching out over the wetlands

Chattering away in the sky above, this belted kingfisher was looking for fish below to dive down onto

A lovely yellow-rumped Myrtle warbler, showing his full adult colors

Flying close by, a black-bellied whistling duck zooming past me

These little guys are one of the most difficult birds to photograph - the common yellowthroat is constantly lurking through the low reeds along the waterline, so you have to sneak off a shot as they walk through the small gaps in the leaves and reeds

A female grackle sitting up in the sun, also looking out over the wetlands

If you've followed my last few wildlife posts, then you sense a continuing theme - great blue herons hauling nest materials!  This one had a nice branch that should make his mate quite happy

An osprey banking around in the sky, always circling for an opportunity if a fish is too close to the surface and not paying attention

Now for the graphic part of the post...

Sensitive folks, don't scroll any farther...

Now for the gruesome find...walking through the pine scrub forest, I noticed through the branches a cooper's hawk sitting on a log - after zooming in and focusing, I realized he had the remains of a mal at his feet - and on closer inspection, it appears to be the remains of a purple gallinule!

What's interesting is that a purple gallinule is a larger water bird nearly the size of the hawk - and this hawk was a good 150 feet from the water, which means he dragged his catch from the water up into the pine forest to this perch to eat

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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