Western Wetlands w/200-600mm and 1.4x TC (3/5/21)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 33,819
Western Wetlands w/200-600mm and 1.4x TC (3/5/21)

Moving on in my wildlife postings, this post will take us to December 19th, 2020.  I started out the day meeting a client out west near the Everglades, so I figured I'd bring my camera gear with me so I could visit the more westerly wetlands that I don't go to as often, since I was already halfway there.  It was also an opportunity to use the 1.4x TC on the 200-600mm again, which I hadn't really done in a while, mostly because I haven't needed it at my local grounds...out west, the birds are often farther away, and much shyer and more skittish when they see people.  The following shots were taken at Peaceful Waters Sanctuary in Wellington, Florida.

All shots taken with the A6600 and FE 200-600mm G OSS lens with FE 1.4x teleconverter...most of the shots were at full 840mm optical (1,260mm equivalent), handheld, and all are posted at 1800 pixels on the long side if you view the original sizes:

Another roseate spoonbill to start things off after my last post had ONLY spoonbills!  This time, one was way out in the duckweed covered shallow water and didn't want to come any closer.  It's sometimes amazing that the very same species that I can stand 10 feet from in my local wetlands will stay 100 feet away in another place!  This is at the full 840mm

A long-billed dowitcher feeding on the bottom of the shallow water...something it can do, as that bill is quite long indeed!  We don't ever get these birds at my local wetlands, so it's nice to see some different species (840mm)

A lesser yellowlegs walking along in the shallow water - we may get the occasional greater or lesser yellowlegs at my local wetlands, but not very often and sometimes just one will appear (840mm)

The beautiful American wigeons - the males have the green and cream-colored head.  The good thing about the western wetlands is that many winter ducks and shorebirds will go there reliably each year, as opposed to just the rare sighting at my local spots (840mm)

Roseate spoonbill up on the shore, having a classic one-legged rest (832mm)

Two long-billed dowitchers, standing in opposite directions.  Now you can see just how long the bills are on these smaller shorebirds! (783mm)

Looking head-on with a long-billed dowitcher (783mm)

Another long-billed dowitcher from the side making ripples (840mm)

A lesser yellowlegs - his yellow legs visible through his shadow reflection under the water.  With that shorter bill, it looks like they need to scout out and plan on what they're going to plunge their head in for, compared to the dowitchers who can get to the bottom without submerging their eyes (840mm)

The lesser yellowlegs, suddenly alert.  Even at my distance, the smallest crunch of a leaf make all the birds hyper-aware.  I was stuffed in a row of trees and pretty well hidden, so I could get within 80 feet or so if I stayed quiet (840mm)

This was my closest pass to the dowitchers - they were slowly wading through the shallows feeding, and kept walking closer my way - to within about 65 feet.  I could pull back to 690mm for this shot

Also 690mm for this long-billed dowitcher's relative closeup

It wasn't all shorebirds.  While heading out to the levee trails near the shallow ponds where all the wintering ducks and shorebirds like to feed and hang out, there is a boardwalk through the middle of the sanctuary, and it passes by a few dead-tree snags where red-shouldered hawks like to perch and watch over the wetlands for prey (840mm)

And occasionally if there's no prey to see, the hawks will watch other interesting things...like photographers with big white lenses! (840mm)

Heading out of the wetlands, I heard the shrill shriek of a flock of monk parakeets...I barely had time to get the rig up and try to nab a shot of them as they flew by - even pulled back to 617mm, with the TC attached I couldn't fit the whole flock in - I had to isolate on two of them flying nicely together.

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed and encouraged.

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 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony a6600 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +21 more
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