American White Pelican Flying In At Blackwater NWR

These are from a past trip a couple of years ago in April. I was photographing a Bald Eagle when I noticed a lone American White Pelican heading straight towards me. I started photographing it and was shooting a series of images as it was coming towards me. It banked sharply and landed in the water. After it landed in the water I noticed a whole flock flying in from the side that was apparently following the lone Pelican. So I guess he was the leader of the group. The bright white Pelicans really stood out against the deep blue color of the water. Also you can see the lone American White Pelican was in Breeding Plumage with the fibrous epidermal plate on it’s upper mandibles about one third of the way up their bills. All images were taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a Canon 2X Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII.

American White Pelican with in Breeding Plumage with the fibrous bump on upper bill
A small section of the Large Group that was following the lone Pelican .
A small section of the Large Group landing in the water that was following the lone Pelican .

Pelicans, Pelicans and more Pelicans, Oh My!

Pelicans are fun to watch and give you a lot of photo opportunities. Sometimes they seem almost comical, other times just plain clutzy! There was quite a large group where we were set up and with the Sigma 300-800mm I could pick my group and zoom in or out depending on the action, or lack of action, going on. I also had the 400mm DO with a 1.4X teleconverter over my shoulder in case something flew by closer.

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Look at what I caught!
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG EX lens @ 800mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 640

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Not Easy to go Down
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG EX lens @ 800mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 640

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Maybe Need More Water
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG EX lens @ 800mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 640

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Still Not Going Down
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG EX lens @ 800mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 640

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Double Itch
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG EX lens @ 800mm, f/11, 1/800 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 400

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Seeing Eye to Eye
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG EX lens @ 800mm, f/11, 1/2500 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 400

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Still Scratching
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG EX lens @ 800mm, f/11, 1/1600 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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American White Pelican Fly By
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400 DO IS f/4, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 560mm, f/11, 1/800 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 400

J.N. Ding Darling NWR at Dusk

Here are a few photos taken at dusk as the sun was setting adding a warm color to the scene. The birds were settling down for the evening, American White Pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, Egrets, Cormorants and others made an interesting mix. Also  Ospreys flying in the colorful warm colored sky back to their nests. Many other birds were flying overhead heading to where they roost. At Ding Darling, the busiest time for photos is Dawn to early morning, then later in the evening as the sun sets. We usually go throughout the day, seeing individual birds or a few here and there in groups. This gives you the opportunity to get closeup images, detail shots or even head shots. Also there are many opportunities for flight shots. The opening photo is a 4 shot panorama stitched together manually in Photoshop.

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American White Pelicans Settling Down for the Night
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/800 sec, +0.67 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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Osprey Flying Home for the Night.
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/400 sec, +0.67 exposure compensation, ISO 400

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Pelicans with fading Sun
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 640

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Wood Stork Flying In
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 640

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TriColor Herons adding to the Mix
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/800 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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Golden Light with Silhouettes
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/6400 sec, -0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

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Ending Another Day of Photography as the Sun Sets
Canon EOS 1D MkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L, @105mm , f11, 1/400 sec, -0.33exposure compensation, ISO 400

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Roseate Spoonbill Looking Around, Keeping an Eye Out
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 640

Pelican Eyes

An evening photo of a group of American White Pelicans settling down for the evening on a little dune of sand surrounded by water. I thought it was interesting most of them were still keeping an eye open for what was going on around them. Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800 f/5.6 zoom @ 800mm,  f/7.1, 1/1600 sec, ISO 800

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American White Pelican Panorama

We are spending Christmas at Sanibel Island in Florida with lots of photo opportunities at the J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Here is a 5 shot panorama of a lineup of American White Pelicans. The photo looked more interesting as a panorama rather than using a shorter lens and cropping into the image. Taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4X MkIII Teleconverter, 1/200 sec @ f/8, ISO 400. Manually stitched together in Photoshop. Effective focal length 728mm with the 1D MkIV cropped sensor.

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