Shooting Birds & BIFs in Pouring Rain (7/16/18)

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 29,786
Shooting Birds & BIFs in Pouring Rain (7/16/18)
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It's South Florida, in the summer.  That obviously means hot and humid.  It also means rain could occur every single day, usually in the afternoon.  There are days when it's raining before I leave the house, and I might put off birding that day.  Other times, I head out to go birding, and get a partial day in before the rains come - and I bail out and go home.  But it's just incredibly annoying when things look clear, so I head out to the wetlands to shoot, and the rains come the exact moment I arrive, before I've even gotten any shooting in.  The choices are: 1. go home and waste the trip, or 2. Go shooting in the rain.

Well on Saturday June 23, I was faced with that situation, and that choice.  Since I always keep a rain sleeve in my bag and bring it along in a pocket in case I get caught in a rainstorm while I'm walking out there...and since I had a nylon fishing shirt that dries fast, waterproof shoes, and a waterproof phone, getting wet wouldn't really be a problem...I decided not to waste that trip, slipped the rain sleeve over the A6300 and FE100-400mm GM combo, and headed out in the rain at Green Cay Wetlands.

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

Two moorhens out in the main lake - not really minding the chubby rain falling all around.  Being water birds anyway, rain is not a problem for these guys!

Out at the gator pond, there are lots of cypress trees hanging over which provided some shelter from the rain for me - and for this yellow-crowned night heron who was trying to stay out of the heavy rain.  He had a light mist falling on his head and drizzling around filtered through the leaves

I must admit that my initial journey bravely out into the rain was cut a bit short at this point, when what had been distant lightning strikes closed to within 2 miles, loudly too.  I keep a lightning monitor on me in the summer and saw the distance close quickly, so I headed back to the shelter of the main building...where I decided while waiting inside to shoot this guy:

Inside the thick glass tank with greasy fingerprints was this cute baby gator...I pushed the hood right up to the glass to kill the reflections and get eye-level with him, shooting at ISO6400 in the dim light.

About 10 minutes later, the lightning had moved about 10 miles off, and I headed back out into the steady downpour...while headed down the boardwalk, I saw this tricolor heron standing on the rail, and in the full-zoom compression, the raindrops really picked up on the shot

The overcast light and falling rain makes for an interesting and even lighting, so when getting closer to this red-winged blackbird gathering food for his lady sitting on her nest, I got some nice details and smooth backdrop - with raindrops falling through the scene

A juvenile yellow-crowned night heron was flying my way - the parents were hiding in the cypress trees trying to stay dry, but typical of kids, the juveniles were out playing in the rain!

One of the juvenile night herons landed on the rail, and decided to go for a walk along the rail as the rains pelted down

At this point, I was shooting anything I could find, with a more limited selection in the rain.  So when I saw this common pigeon flying towards me with something in his mouth, I decided he was worth a shot.  He was hauling pine needles back to his nest, having to keep working rain or shine!

Another juvenile night heron perched atop a dead stump, looking around in the rain

Just behind him in another tree, one of his siblings took a leafier perch

Some birds are a little dull when it's raining...but the roseate spoonbill stands out even without any bright light...this one was busy trying to groom himself as the rain was down to a light sprinkle, and he didn't like being so wet

Walking along in the shallows, he was finally getting back to rooting through the shallow muck for food, after spending the previous hour standing still in the rain looking fairly miserable

Still wet, but willing to strike a pose for the camera

And a parting shot of Mr. Spoonbill, as the rains of the day were finally ending

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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Justin
galleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg

 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony a6300 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Voigtlander 35mm F1.4 Nokton +22 more
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Sony a6300
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