Sunset Flyers in 30 Minutes (3/19/19)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 30,990
Sunset Flyers in 30 Minutes (3/19/19)

In order to not fall too far back in the busy season of winter to spring here in Florida, I wanted to put up another bird thread quickly after the last one with the wood storks - these are also from the very same day - with a variety of species flying all about in the last 30 minutes from sunset to dusk.

All shots here were taken on January 19th, between 5:15pm and's like skeet shooting if you had 40 skeet launchers positioned all around you firing skeet in the air every 3 seconds's hard to even know which way to turn and it's amazing there aren't more mid-air collisions between the birds.  If you've never witnessed a dozen species and thousands of birds flying in to the same spot from all compass points, it's impossible to describe or understand!

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

A cormorant with the flaps and gear down, slowing to land, jogging the wings left and right against the winds to stay level

Another cormorant, coming in lower and just out of the sun - so low, that his backdrop includes a passing woman

A juvenile tricolored heron flying high overhead

A great blue heron, stretched out as he transitions from horizontal flight to near vertical landing position

Landing can be tricky - like landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier that left all the other planes sitting on the runway.  Wood storks and cormorants dot the trees, and the great blue heron has to land right on his spot or risk a bunch of snapping bills and protest calls

A cattle egret cruising by in warm sunset light and a backdrop of cypress trees

Just as the sun is setting, the black-bellied whistling ducks who are lounging around all day, begin to wake up, calling out to each other and getting psyched up - then nearly all at the same time, they take to the skies, do a couple of laps of the wetlands whistling and calling, then fly off

A tricolor heron flying by with the nice warm glow from a low sun

A trio of whistling ducks on one of their circles around the wetlands, catching the last of the setting sunlight

If you saw my last thread, you know the moon was out that afternoon...and here, I caught a couple of whistling ducks flying past

Another tricolor heron, banking around to show his belly as he flies over me

I concentrated on wood storks in the last thread, but couldn't leave them out of this thread completely - here's another one coming in to land late

By now, the sun was below the trees and dipping under the horizon, so it was getting dark - but still that odd orangy-dusk color as this ibis comes in to land

I did mention the full moon was out - well as the skies darkened a bit, I decided to take a moon shot with the it is, the swamp moon!

One last bird coming in after sunset, with the dusk skies going grey and the last bits of pink cloud fading into night...a cattle egret returning to his roost for the night

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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 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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