***Weekly Wildlife Thread: Mar 22nd - 28th***

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
OP zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 33,156
14 Minutes of BIF, 10 Species

Last week's thread, I had shared about 1 hour worth of wetlands shooting on January 5th, this post covers the final 14 minutes of shooting on that same day before the light disappeared, as the sun was hugging the horizon and being lost behind the trees. It shows a bit of how crowded the wetlands become at the end of the day - in just 14 minutes, standing in one spot, I shot 10 different species of birds flying over or past. There are actually hundreds of birds in flight this time of day, with ibis and cattle egret far outnumbering any other species...but still, you can see quite an amazing selection of different birds all coming in to roost for the night, or passing by to look for any last minute hunting or fishing opportunities.

All shots taken at Wakodahatchee Wetlands, with the A6600 and FE200-600mm G OSS lens, and all posted at 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

Starting with one of the most colorful and vibrant birds in the wetlands - the roseate spoonbill. Those pink colors lit up by an orange-yellow sun setting to the west make this bird rather impossible not to see up in the sky!

One of my favorite wetlands ducks, the black-bellied whistling...they are here in huge numbers this time of year - hundreds just at this one wetland alone. Here, a solo one comes down to land

More ofteh, they fly in packs like this - they start whistling and calling for a few minutes, then suddenly groups of 5-10 ducks will launch out of the wetlands together and fly around in a big circle, sometimes coming back to the same spot, and sometimes finding a new spot

A lovely anhinga, showing off those glossy black feathers as it cruises by

Another roseate spoonbill passing almost directly overhead - those pinks getting some glow from the side-light of the sun setting to his right

As he passed a little farther away, I took one more parting shot of him

Shooting towards the western sunset, this great egret passing behind me was glowing through the wings and bill

A little blue heron banking a turn and showing its underside with those blue-grey feathers

A female anhinga catching the warm sunset glow as it rises into the growing dusk

So many ibis fly past that I almost tune them out - but sometimes the light hits them just right, and in this case, some fun shadow play as he casts his head shadow on his own wing

A big wood stork heading this direction - also casting some very late sun shadows on his own wings and body

With the sun almost gone, the only light remaining was higher up in the sky, the last orange-red glow - just the airspace where the cooper hawk was flying over to see if any small birds below might not be paying attention and can be grabbed for a late dinner

Two black-bellied whistling ducks flying around together high up in the sky, getting some nice warm final light

A tricolor heron heading this way - not much sun to catch as he was flying through the shadows of the western tree line, blocking out the horizon light - but his color pattern is bold enough to still stand out even in shadow

And as I was walking back to my car, one last bird was coming down to land - and there was a shaft of sunlight peeking between the trees and casting a beam in one spot - I followed this great blue heron until he hit that shaft of light, to add the 10th species in 14 minutes!

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