BIFs, Birds, Wild Hummers, & Old Crooked-Jaw

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 30,322
BIFs, Birds, Wild Hummers, & Old Crooked-Jaw
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The following shots were taken on two nice, busy wetlands days, on October 27th and October 28th, when the weather was fairly nice both days, and we had a minor cool-down with the temps being only in the low 80s.  The following were taken at Green Cay Wetlands in Delray Beach, FL - my other local wetland, Wakodahatchee, was closed for the weekend to do some maintenance before the busy winter season.

All shots taken with the A6300 and FE100-400mm combo as usual, with some using the 1.4x teleconverter as well, which will be noted in the photo descriptions.  All are posted at 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

A closeup with a tricolor heron, showing off his pretty colors in nice sunlight (1.4x TC)

Tricolor flying from the wetlands up to the boardwalk handrail upon seeing me walking along - for some strange reason, many wetlands birds will intentionally fly to a spot right in front of people walking by...then either stand and call as they pass, or spook and fly away again (1.4x TC)

There was a strong backlight coming from the sun's reflection off the waters as this anhinga went flying by - I liked the low contrast and sun-streaky style that interference and backlight causes, along with a bit of halo glow around the wings and tail

Another tricolor heron shot - this guy was busy hunting through the shallow water in the reeds, trying to nab a fish (1.4x TC)

Way out in the deep water, this little pied-billed grebe was rippling the water, which picked up some nice color play and patterns from the sky and clouds (1.4x TC)

This is Old Crooked Jaw.  He's a well known alpha-male alligator at Green Cay who long ago broke his jaw, but it has not prevented him from thriving, catching plenty of birds and fish to stay fat and well-fed.  He's been seen with this broken jaw for at least 7 years - no one knows exactly when he broke it (1.4x TC)

Playing with light and shadow - this great egret was flying past and entered a shaft of sunlight between the cypress trees, while he flew across a patch of water and trees in complete shade - which made for an interesting B&W contrast

A colorful fella standing up in a tree and looking around - this looked to be a young roseate spoonbill - still fairly small compared to his feet, and still a little dull in his pink plume

A tricolor heron having a look over the wetlands from a pond apple tree perch

A female blue-winged teal cruising close by in the shallow water

This great egret took a page from the tricolor heron, jumping up on his own pond apple tree perch to see what was going on in the wetlands

A sneaky peek at a sneaky, elusive bird - this sora was staying deep under cover in the reeds, until he had to walk across a gap of water to get to another patch of reeds, which gave me a few seconds to catch him at ISO 3,200

Nearly a 100% crop - I noticed this baby basilisk lizard running across the salvinia plants on the water and tried to catch him running up on his hind feet -but he stopped before I could get him...I snapped a shot anyway, only noticing when cropping way in that he had a mouthful of dragonfly, which is what he was running for!

An exceedingly hard bird to find and shoot around here - a ruby-throated hummingbird in flight.  Not that hummingbirds are that difficult to shoot in flight, if you have a feeder - they'll hover there all day for you.  But we have no feeders, so you have to be lucky enough to find one in the wild - and they're so tiny you can walk right by them

Luckily I heard the chattering little call, and started looking, then found this little gal feeding on these flowers - and for a change, the light was actually behind me and lighting up the little bird nicely.  I had a few seconds to shoot before she took off, and I waited 20 minutes hoping she'd come back.  She didn't!

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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Justin
galleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg

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