WhipPoorWill, Osprey BIF, Goose BIF, First Ever Buffleheads (12/10)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 32,122
WhipPoorWill, Osprey BIF, Goose BIF, First Ever Buffleheads (12/10)

Well I need to get back to the wildlife posting again, after being out for a week on vacation!  Don't want to fall too far behind, when I was just getting close, being only a month behind.

The following shots were all taken in and around Green Cay Wetlands or Wakodahatchee Wetlands, on November 10th, and all shot with the A6300 and FE100-400mm combo.

The selections have been getting better down here, with more migrating and wintering birds arriving, and with some early cold fronts coming at the beginning of the month, some more rarities and first time birds for me.  This time, it was a duck species I've never seen or shot before...so though they were far away and involve lots of cropping, it was still exciting for the bird enthusiast in me.

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

Starting almost exactly where my last thread left off - though surprisingly, this is a whole week later!  Same whip-poor-will, same palm tree, just moved a little to the left.  This rarely-seen bird stuck around for 3 straight weeks at our local wetlands, and unusually conspicuous for such a shy, camouflaged bird

This time of year, the osprey get really busy, always circling above the waters looking for fish

Sometimes the circle goes right over people too - as he banked around to head back over the waters, and putting me right in the danger zone for bomb drops!

Speaking of bombs, also back for winter are our lovely little color bombs, the male painted buntings.  This one was perched down low hidden by palms, but I found a hole to thread the focus through with some ISO 6,400 in the low light, to get a sneak peek at the little guy

Down in the tall reeds, this basilisk lizard was climbing his way up to the sun to get warm - pausing for a second when he saw that I was there watching him

A distant, backlit, overcast BIF shot - a great blue heron was cruising by off in the distance, and they're always so elegant in flight, I couldn't help but shoot him

More of the GBH flight, as he passes by a bunch of cluttered foliage

Big distance, big zoom, and big crop.  I just liked this osprey standing on a branch against the sky, but he was just over 420 feet away...I had to use all of the 400mm and crop to nearly 90%, but it still holds up fairly well detail-wise

The light effect here was interesting - it was still very overcast,  plus a little backlit here - so with the bright reflections coming off the water, the shot took on an almost black-and-white look, with just a hint of color in these two female blue-winged teals as they bobbed in the water

Two Egyptian geese flying quickly my direction - from a patch of blue sky poking through the clouds

A closer look at one of the geese as it flew past - calling out loudly as it flew as do many ducks and geese

And now for the unexciting part of the thread for photography enthusiasts who like crisp details and frame-filling perfect lit subjects - but exciting for birders who can appreciate a new species checked off a list.  These are the first buffleheads I've ever seen or shot - two females

They are an extremely uncommon species down here - usually wintering around N. Georgia and mid-Atlantic, and not coming all the way down to South Florida.  These are just about 100% crops on top of all the zoom, as they stayed quite far away from me - like the osprey, about 400 feet

Not to mention, to shoot them, I had to point SSE, towards a setting sun, so the light was horrible!  But still...Buffleheads in South Florida!

You thought there were only two...but no, a third female was with them.  No males to be found this time, but I was quite excited to get another new species for this early in the winter season - to go with the western and scarlet tanagers and Tennessee warbler all in the last few months.

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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