BIFs & Great Blue Herons Eating Things (200-600mm + A6600)

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 32,264
BIFs & Great Blue Herons Eating Things (200-600mm + A6600)
6

Picking up on the same December 28th shooting day out at Wakodahatchee Wetlands where I left off before the TC post, and wrapping that day up, to follow are a good number of BIFs of different species, a few non-flying birds mixed in, and two examples of what's on the menu for the big great blue herons, who will eat pretty much anything they can fit down their throat - and sometimes it can be quite shocking what can fit down that skinny long throat!

All shots taken with the A6600 and the FE200-600mm G lens, handheld, shot in JPG, with mostly just cropping and then resized to 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

A double-crested cormorant flying low over the water

Another cormorant - this time coming straight towards me - I zoomed out past 500mm and shot as he approached head-on to test the tracking, which did very well indeed.  I was shooting mostly into the overcast light requiring some high ISO (ISO 2,000)

I stayed with him all the way up to his nest, where he veered a bit to his left to land (ISO 1,250)

A great blue heron flying away low over the silvery reflecting water

Now we get into the eating.  GBHs can eat lots of things, and often things significantly bigger than their own head and neck would imply.  As you can see with this heron, trying to figure out how best to swallow a fish larger than his own head.  The fish was very much alive, and the two seemed to be eyeing each other at this moment

One more of the great blue heron with his fish.  Both of these were from quite a good distance - taken at 600mm from about 125 feet.  And yes, he did swallow it as I may show in an overflow thread if I ge around to one

A female anhinga flying past - heading from the dense background of trees to the overcast patch of sky

But the sky wasn't all clouds - there was a patch of blue sky and the sun occasionally poked through - just in time to catch this great blue heron flying off with something in his mouth...a baby turtle!

He circled around a few times trying to decide where to land to eat - at one point he dropped down low to the water and against the sun, and flew towards the distant shore where he finally are his hard little meal

In the last post of shots from this day, I had spotted the secretive and sneaky Wilson's snipe - when I passed back around to that spot, I decided to take a few more of him as it could be years before I spot another one

And indeed - since this shot, I haven't found him again the last 3 trips out there

A tricolor heron working his way through the shallow water and low water plants

As sunset was approaching, the sun hid behind the bank of clouds, so the evening BIF bonanza was not to be - even before 5pm conditions were almost dusk-like, so I shot just a few of the ibises coming home

Another ibis on direct approach through the clouds and shadows

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always.

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Justin
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 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony a6300 Sony a6600 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 +24 more
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