***Weekly Wildlife Thread: Mar 17th - 23rd***

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
zackiedawg
OP zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 31,145
Lots of Clear Skies, GBHs, and Sunny BIFs
1

Continuing right along in the weekly thread, this time I'm back to lots of BIF shooting, plus a heavy concentration on great blue herons who were particularly active and populous in the first weeks of January, as that's prime mating and nesting time for them.

The following shots were taken on January 5th, in the beautiful late afternoon light from 4:30pm to a little after 5pm...the skies were gorgeous, mostly blue and clear but with distant high puffy clouds dotting all around, making for some surreal backdrops. That plus the late low sunlight illuminating the birds from behind make them almost look cut-and-pasted onto fake sky backgrounds...but I promise those skies were really there! Once again demonstrating how South Florida, and Wakodahatchee Wetlands in particular, really become a BIF heaven for bird photographers - I barely moved from a roughly 20-foot boardwalk section, and photographed all of the following birds in just 30 minutes of shooting time. It's almost criminal how perfect the conditions can be here for BIF shooting!

All taken with the A6300 and FE100-400mm combo as usual, and all posted at 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

A mating pair of great blue herons doing a little 'necking' as they entice each other to get busy making some eggs

A great blue heron approaching head-on towards me

Here's where the skies got really beautiful - looking slightly ENE, as the great blue heron heads towards the low afternoon sun

Meanwhile, back at the nest...the couple was still working out their foreplay routine

A lovely little blue heron made a high distant pass

Checking back in at the nest...yep, still at it!

The cattle egrets at this point hadn't quite gotten their bold mating colors going yet, but at least that cool cloudy sky made them more interesting in flight

A juvenile ibis flying low past me, as two cormorants in the distant tree don't bother to give him a glance

But soon after, another cormorant landing on their high tree gets their attention - and a little protest by the male on the right for flying in a bit too close

Here comes an ibis, and again, that cool cloudy blue sky backdrop

Flying onwards and past me, and leaving the puffy cloud balls behind

An ibis approaching the nesting trees, down low with the boardwalk visible behind him

A female anhinga on direct approach, dropping down to the tree level as the sunset colors light up the landscape

A big great egret makes a lazy pass, catching the yellow glow from the low sun and casting a shadow on his own wing

The reason BIF shooters like to burst shoot - it's not because we need a dozen shots to get a good one - it's because the less-than-1-second difference between these two shots nets you one with the wings down, and one with the wings up. You can pick the one you like best, or sometimes, you may just keep both

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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
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