Visit to the Way-Out NW Wetlands (6600+200-600mm) 1/19/2020

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 32,255
Visit to the Way-Out NW Wetlands (6600+200-600mm) 1/19/2020

To pick up where my last wildlife post left off, this time the shots are from some different wetlands than my usual ones.  On New Year's Day, I decided to take a drive north and west, to some of the wetlands in the Everglades corridor, west of the populated areas.  They're a bit more of a drive away, and the birds out there tend to be much more skittish and less accustomed to people, so a perfect place to take advantage of the 200-600mm's reach.  I posted some shots from out here with my thread of shots from the 1.4x teleconverter, and there are a few more mixed in here with the TC, but most of these are without.

The two wetlands included here are the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Wellington Environmental Preserve, and the Arthur Marshall Wildlife Refuge...both in western Palm Beach county along the eastern edge of the Everglades.

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

Here's both a bird AND a bug I don't get to see or shoot down in my local spots.  The bird is the loggerhead shrike, and the unfortunate bug serving as lunch is a mantis

He seemed a little annoyed that I was watching him eat, and picked up his meal to go find a more private spot to finish

Even common birds don't like to get too close out there - this mottled duck stayed far off the shore, but the big lens at 600mm was able to pull him in with some lovely sky reflections in the water

This lens is super-crisp at 600mm, even from distances of 100 feet

An eastern phoebe sitting on a distant branch, with strong backlight giving him a bit of a halo - shot at 600mm from about 50 feet, which is about as close as they'll let you get out there!

A distant little blue heron hunting the shallows - with his reflection to keep him company...shot of course at 600mm

Another loggerhead shrike, this one not eating anything at the moment!  Yep, 600mm again

Out there, even the BIFs can require 600mm - if you want to reasonably fill the frame.  This osprey was cruising over the open water, but kept turning away as he neared the shore I was standing on

The loggerhead shrike are always on alert, sitting out on a tall branch watching the surrounding trees and shrubs for prey to go after...even other small birds!

Taking a page out of the Vlad the Impaler playbook, they love to chase down lizards, small birds, etc, and impale them on sharp branches or thorns...hence their nickname 'butcherbird'.  It's so small and cute looking, yet so ruthless!

One of the shots taken with the teleconverter, out in the cypress forests of Arthur Marshall - the pileated woodpecker, largest of North American woodpeckers (unless someone proves an ivory-billed really is still alive!)

Not a great shot - badly backlit, lots of branches in the way, and shooting with the 1.4x TC - but I don't get to see too many great crested flycatchers, so I still wanted to nab a shot of him.  Threading that flex spot focus point through lots of clutter in poor light - no problem!

Another shot with the 1.4x TC, or a red-bellied woodpecker working on a hole in a cypress pine

A gulf fritillary butterfly landing fairly close by - in fact, since I had the 1.4x TC attached, he was TOO close and I had to back up to shoot him at the full 840mm

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as ever.

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