Snowy Egret Early AM

These images are from a previous trip years ago to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. It is one of our favorite places to visit when we are in Florida. We were walking early in the morning on the Indigo Trail which is off the Wildlife Drive. Usually there are quite a few Egrets & Herons there feeding in the am. The problem photographing in the early am there is it quite dark being in the shade from all the trees & vegetation above. After I took the featured image, I wanted to include the Snowy Egret’s reflection in the water. So I shot 2 vertical images to combine in Photoshop for a long vertical Panorama to include the reflection.

Snowy Egret – 2 vertical images Panorama,
400mm DO Lens with 1.4X Teleconverter, 1D mkIV, Blended in Photoshop

Immature Black-Crowned Night Heron

I found this Immature Black-Crowned Night-Heron hidden in the shade along the trees off Wildlife Drive at J.N. Ding Darling NWR. I was using a 100-400mm lens @400mm. Luckily it did not go deeper into the trees as another one did that was next to it.

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Roseate Spoonbills Splashing

I am still finding images to post from my backup files since we can not go out to even local parks here in NJ. These images are from a past trip years ago to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. These were fairly far out in the water along the Wildlife Drive. I was using a Sigma 300 – 800mm f/5.6 zoom lens @ 800mm (The Sigmonster as it was called.) With Heavy Duty Gitzo tripod, Wimberly Gimbel Tripod head & Canon 1 Series Camera Body – total weight ~25 lbs. But once setup you could certainly work an area and get great images from subjects near & far.

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300-800mm_P1050279Sigma 3-8

Snowy Egret FlyBy

Another series of images from previous photo trips years ago. Here, even if you wanted to go to a local park, the entrances are blocked by Police Cars. So they are quite serious about staying at home.  This is a series of Snowy Egret FlyBy images from a previous trip years ago to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. The  Snowy Egret images were photographed @ 300mm with a Canon 100-400mm lens.Snowy_Egret_v3_300mm_1-4mm_7D _DD 12_10_MG_0524Snowy_Egret_v2_300mm_1-4mm_7D _DD 12_10__MG_0523Snowy_Egret_v2_300mm_1-4mm_7D _DD 12_10__MG_0528

 

Waving Great Blue Heron

We were setup on the Wildlife Drive at this popular spot at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It is a fairly wide open area with sandbars where birds tend to land and flock to. Plus a lot of activity in the water around it. A lot of people also fish here so it gets very crowded for photographers! Sometimes there are up to 40 or more people here photographing the birds. This Great Blue almost looks like it is waving to us. I also liked the Cormorant swimming by in the background. Image taken @800mm.

Wood Stork Preening

I am going through backup drives looking for images to post here since we are staying home during the virus outbreak. It actually gives me time to go through backup drives and clean out files that I do not need to make more space. Also I am finding images I have not worked on before. We saw this preening Wood Stork in the water along the Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 zoom lens and the featured images was taken at 800mm. I liked the “splash of color” of the Roseate Spoonbill in the foreground.

 

Wood Stork Sunset Panoramas

I am going through images from previous trips to some of our trips to Florida. Here are a few panoramas of Wood Storks I photographed from the Wildlife Drive at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/ 5.6 lens, all @ 800mm. The Wood Storks did not move around to much, but the ducks were constantly  moving about.

I first tried a 5 image panorama which is the featured image. Because they were moving around somewhat I manually aligned the images and used soft-edge masks to blend the images for the final image. Then I photographed a 3 image version again at 800mm.

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Single image from 5 img panorama, Wood Storks @ 800mm

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3 images panorama @ 800mm

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Single image shot @ 318mm showing group of Wood Storks. Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens

Roseate Spoonbill Tree

It was interesting to see this tree full of Roseate Spoonbills surrounding this White Ibis. The featured image was captured with a Sigma 300-800mm lens @ 800mm. It seems to be very helpful at J.N. Ding Darling to have a long zoom lens with a long telephoto zoom range. Many photo opportunities there are quite far in the distance. So instead of severely cropping your image you can frame a nice pleasing image to fill the frame with your subject. The Sigma 300-800mm lens was a huge & heavy lens and with a camera body was about 12 lbs. Add a Wimberly gimbal head & heavy duty tripod and you basically setup in an area and just work that area for a while. That is why I usually also carried another camera on my shoulder strap with a 400mm DO lens for faster moving subjects that flew close by.

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Roseate Spoonbill, Sigma 300-800mm @ 631mm

 

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Roseate Spoonbill 400mm f/ DO lens

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Splashing Roseate Spoonbills, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 7D

 

 

 

 

Willet Shorebird – Eye To Eye with Prey

I came across this Willet looking for a meal at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. These are from a visit years ago. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens on a Canon 1D MkIII. These are all at 800mm. It caught a small reddish orange crab that seemed to only have one eye. It was trying to swallow it but as it was trying it lost its grip and was holding it by one leg. Then that leg broke off and the crab fell into the water. But it managed to catch it again and have it’s meal.  I thought the crab got away but the Willet won in the end.Eye2eye_Willet_800mm_3-8_1DmkIII_v1_80I9608-2Eye2Eye_Willet_800mm_1DmkIII_80I9613-2Eye2Eye_Willet_v1_oops_800mm_3-8_1DmkIII_80I9615-2Eye2Eye_Willet_oops_800mm_3-8_1DmkIII_DD_80I9616Eye2EyeWilletRecov_v1_800mm_3-8_1DmkIII_80I9618-3

Little Green Heron & Black-crowned Night-Heron Foraging

We found this Green Heron foraging for a meal early in the morning at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. It was very focused on something in the water and hardly moved for quite a while. I guess what it was staring at disappeared and then it relaxed it’s stance and moved on. Also nearby was an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron. It was fun to see the 2 small herons close to each other. Because of the wide range of smaller photo subjects and the distance to them at J.N. Ding Darling, I usually use here a 400mm D.O. lens, with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. (Full Frame field of view equivalent ~896mm)

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