Herons, Ducks, and Egrets in Flight (4/24/19)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 31,159
Herons, Ducks, and Egrets in Flight (4/24/19)

More from the wetlands here in Florida, finally getting to wrap up and put a pin in February with this post.  Our winter season is nuts down here, and always the busiest time for photography - the complete opposite of the rest of the country.

The following birds were shot on February 23rd, the last Saturday of the month, with the usual combo of A6300 and FE100-400mm GM lens.  One non-flying bird to kick things off, but the rest of the thread are all BIFs, all very late in the day during sunset, and of a variety of species.  All of the shots here were taken within the same 24 minute period - again showing just how crowded the skies are with birds at the end of a winter day here.

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

A great blue heron hanging out on its nest - wood storks are in the background

A male boat-tailed grackle flying by fast

A great egret landing, showing off some feather turbulence as he slows down

A juvenile white ibis flying high - eventually he'll be all white, but the juvies still have lots of brown bits on them

A double-crested cormorant banking around and catching the low setting sun on his glistening black wings

A cattle egret in full mating colors, flying up from the waterline to his nesting spot

A wood stork arriving home with a stick for the nest

A pair of black-bellied whistling ducks flying towards me at typical duck speed - full blast!

All winter long, at nearly the same time every day, dozens of black-bellied whistling ducks take off out of the swamp waters and fly around whistling, circle a few times, then head off for some other place that they like to sleep for the night.  This bunch was flying in the shadows past the cypress trees

Just for reference, this is a shot of a levee next to the water as clusters of whistling ducks are beginning to gather to prepare to fly off - probably 4x more are still in the waters on either side of the levee.  In winter, this place will have around 200 whistling ducks gathered by the end of the day

A little blue heron trying to land

A juvenile tricolor heron banking around the tree full of cormorants, showing his white underbelly

Meanwhile, a black-bellied whistling duck banks to show his namesake belly - black!

An ibis dropping down to land - showing his lovely red-enriched legs and face for mating season

Another black-bellied whistler headed straight towards me at high speed

Comments, questions, and critique always welcomed.

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