Anhingas In Trees

I was walking along the Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge when I came upon this Anhinga. We tend to like walking along the Drive because you see more wildlife and have more opportunities for getting interesting photos. Plus you are not in the middle of large groups of photographers photographing the same subject at some of the main photo hotspots there.

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Immature American White Ibises Foraging

We found a group of immature American White Ibises working an area for their morning meal. They seemed to have great success in finding their breakfast. All images were shot with a Canon 400mm DO lens.

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White Ibis foraging – 2 image panorama, 400mm Canon DO lens, handheld, assembled in Photoshop

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Immature American White Ibis foraging – 2 image Vertical Panorama

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Little Egret Panorama

I was photographing along the Indigo Trail at the Ding Darling NWR early in the morning on this day. We finally had found a large number of birds along the trail. It was quite dark under the trees, but we managed to get a lot of images of a variety of Egrets and Herons while they were foraging for food. With this Egret, I liked it’s reflection in the water and it was just keeping an eye on me as I was photographing it. After shooting a few images of the Egret, I shot vertical images for a long panorama. I was traveling light on this walk so I only had the 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. It was quite dark under all the trees so I had to raise my ISO higher than I like. After assembling in Photoshop, I trimmed the left & right sides a little so the Egret would be more prominent in the long vertical image. Then removed some “noise” from using a higher ISO than normal.

 

Osprey Nests On Platforms At J.N. Ding Darling NWR

As we were driving on the Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding Darling NWR, we noticed the Osprey Platform was occupied. If you had a long lens and got fairly far down the road you could get some interesting images of them on the nest. The first few images were from closeby, looking more up at the nest. You can see they were looking at us. But I did not like how the nests looked messy and did not like the angle.

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Closeup, Different Day

Views of different nest from farther away, along the Wildlife Drive. The nest looks cleaner and has nicer sky and more of a side view.

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Sunrise Along J.N. Ding Darling NWR Wildlife Drive

This is a Sunrise Panorama (3 images @ 150mm) along the Wildlife Drive at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This spot is just a little before where I was photographing the Reddish Egret in the previous post. We got there early to get the sunrise and to be set up for when the birds start to fly in and gather in the water and on the sand dune area.

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Camera setup waiting for birds to fly in. 400mm DO f/4 lens with 1.4x teleconverter and 1.3x crop camera body (effective FF equivalent 728mm)

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Reddish Egret with Radio Tracker @ Ding Darling NWR

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When I was working on the files of this Reddish Egret I photographed at Ding Darling NWR, there was one feather that always looked like it was sticking up and seemed strange. So on the images I was working on I just cloned it out because it looked odd. It was not til I was working on the last image I saw it was a radio tracker, not a weird feather sticking up. I was surprised how large it was. I was going to go back and leave it in, but decided to stay with a “cleaner” look for most of them. I have seen tracking bands on their legs, but it was a first time I saw a radio tracker on a bird at Ding Darling NWR. Especially a tracker that large. This Reddish Egret was working this area from early morning with cooler light and gradually I got some warmer shots as the sun got higher in the sky. You can see the progression of cooler early morning images, then to the last warmer with the sun higher in the sky.

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Early Morning Light @600mm

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Earlier morning light before sun warmed up the area. With Tracker antenna showing.

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Same Reddish Egret in Warmer light

Immature Little Blue Heron Foraging For Breakfast

We saw this Immature Little Blue Heron looking for its breakfast. It was just working an area around us and seemed not to be bothered by the many people around. Just kept searching for a meal. After a few bugs it did finally find a small lizard.

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Immature Little Blue Portrait – 400mm f/4 DO with 1.4x teleconverter. Two images stacked and blended in Photoshop.

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