Baby Chicks Galore, Woodpeckers, More Bugs, Martin BIF (9/21/21)

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 34,366
Baby Chicks Galore, Woodpeckers, More Bugs, Martin BIF (9/21/21)
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Moving right along, and covering two weekend days of May 22 and May 23, another mix of birds and bugs, a reptile, and lots of baby bird chicks from the local wetlands.  I had a rain-shortened visit on May 22nd for just a few hours, then decided to head back on Sunday May 23 which looked more clear.  On the first day, I was shooting only the 200-600mm lens, then on Sunday I started with one lap using the big lens, and switched over to the 100-400mm GM lens for the last few rounds of the grounds.

All shots taken with the A6600, and I'll note when I transitioned to the 100-400mm lens...all shots are posted at 1800 pixels on the long side if you view them in original size:

A nice plump looking red-bellied woodpecker hanging out near a nest hole.  This is a male, with the full red crown and nape, plus the red wash in the cheeks

I decided this smart fella was worth another shot, a little wider this time

The cute little chick of the purple gallinule, wandering around the shallow waters and plants

My last few threads have had tricolored heron chicks in various stages - they don't all hatch at the same time, so while some chicks are already able to fly on their own at this point, others are fresh out of the egg like this batch, with mom carefully tending to them

Another closeup look into the tricolored heron nest.  We're so lucky down here to have such an active rookery spot with many species of birds all nesting in the same area, and with nests built within 5-10 feet of where you walk - it's possible to shoot directly into nests without disturbing them at all!

And to keep the thread more diverse, I needed to throw in at least one reptile - this basilisk lizard strongly backlit against a sunlit patch of leaves, as he rested on a branch

And on to the bugs too - the 200-600mm isn't a closeup lens, but that big zoom can still get in tight to the small bugs like this grasshopper sitting on a reed, sawing away with its wings

Passing by the same patch of forest as the day before, on May 23 I came across a male red-bellied woodpecker hunting for food - was it the same male as Saturday I photographed sitting near the nest hole?  Probably - though I can't be sure - we have a lot of red-bellied woodpeckers down here!

A cute little pied-billed grebe again - I had one in my last post as well.  This one was by itself in a nice reflective patch of water, chirping lightly while it searched around for its mom (she was diving nearby for food).

I popped out for a restroom break, a drink at my car, and a lens swap, moving to the 100-400mm lens for the rest of the shots...

The atala butterflies I had mentioned in my last post will only lay eggs on the coontie plant - and at our local wetlands, the only coontie plants are growing all around the parking lot...so these shots of the atala butterfly were taken just a few feet from my car

Here you can see the female atala actively laying eggs onto the plant - several little white spheres are already there, and you can see the fresh ones coming out of her abdomen

Back out to the wetlands, I found the purple gallinule chicks again, peeking out above the plants

A difficult BIF subject, the purple martin soaring overhead.  If you can find where they are nesting and try to shoot them as they come in and out, it's probably a lot easier - unfortunately, I usually encounter them just buzzing around in mid-air, going after little gnats and bugs in the skies over the wetlands.  and they fly fast!

Once again, I decided I had to photograph the lovely cormorants - when they sit on the rail as you pass by, just a few feet away, it's very tempting to stop and get nice closeups, especially because of their enchanting eyes.  And they really don't care if you stand a few feet away from them and fire away with the shutter...they almost seem to enjoy posing

And again showing the various nesting stages of the tricolored heron chicks, this pair was probably 2-3 weeks old, still in their nest and unable to fly, but much larger than the tiny little hatchlings earlier in the thread

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as ever.

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Justin
galleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg

 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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