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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Bailey Tract – J.N. Ding Darling NWR

Most people that go to J.N. Ding Darling NWR do not know of, or go to the Bailey Tract in Sanibels’ Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The tract is on Tarpon Bay Rd., not in the main Refuge and Wildlife Drive. The major feature of the Bailey Tract  is a series of impoundments and dikes built years ago to attract waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, coots and moorhens. It still does, but as part of the J.N. “Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge it also creates a perfect place for hikers and bikers to see them. It’s a great place to take a peaceful walk or hike on its 100 acre grounds. We just took a leisurely walk though one afternoon when we were in Sanibel. We did not see a lot of Wildlife, but that was probably because it was in the afternoon when things quiet down. It seems like it is not visited much like the main Refuge. So you can feel quite alone here. It was rare to see another person walking the trails as you walk through. Also there are no staff here. I was traveling light with just an Olympus OM1 with a 14 – 140mm lens. We were just enjoying the beautiful day and a nice walk.

Information Signs along the way to help visitors ID or give information for what they might see.

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2 image panorama @ 14mm, m43 format

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2 image panorama @ 14mm, m43 format  (very slight overlapping of images)

 

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3 horizontal images stacked @14mm – m43 Olympus

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Single Image @ 41mm

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Bailey Landscape – 2 image panorama @14mm

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2 image Panorama @ 14mm

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Single Image @ 28mm

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Lizard @ 140mm

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Small Pond with Alligator Submerged @ 48mm

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Same as above 14mm view

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Landscape w/ hidden Alligator @ 32mm  (2 img pano) –  above this plant in the water on left

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Another Lizard @ 140mm

 

Roseate Spoonbill Coming In

From an earlier trip to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel Florida. Sometimes it takes me a while to go through images I have shot. Work gets in the way and then I might work on more recent images when I go back to my personal images. Spoonbills are definitely fun to photograph, they seem almost comical the way they interact with each other. Plus they are a big subject and colorful for photography.

White Ibis Flyby

I am still going through my images I took in Florida a few months ago. Here is a series of a White Ibis flying by where I was photographing a group of White Pelicans. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. This was the closest flyby while I was photographing at this spot. I saw quite a few birds flying by, but most were pretty far out there.

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Young White Ibis Feeding Early In The Morning

I am still going through some of my images from our trip to Florida in the Fall. On our visits to the J.N. Ding Darling NWR, we tried to get there early. While I was walking the Indigo Trail early in the morning, hoping to find some birds trying to find breakfast. I came upon a group of White Ibises. The older birds were in the lower branches, working their way through the trees. There was this one younger adult, still showing some dark mottling on the face and neck, foraging on the ground. Again it was very dark, but it helped a little for my exposure that it was a white bird! I still had to use a minus exposure compensation, but I had to go even a little further than usual because I was using average metering, so I got a little higher shutter speed. Which I needed for my 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter.

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White Ibis with Breakfast Bug breakfast – Canon 300mm f/4 IS Lens, Canon Series III 1.4x teleconverter

Reddish-Egret – 2 Shot Pano

It is not often that while I am walking looking for photo subjects, that one comes so close I cannot fit it all in the viewfinder. So I try shooting my subject with 2 overlapping images. You have to take a few multiple images quickly, to try to avoid any movement of your subject. Usually a little movement, I can deal with. In Photoshop I try letting Photoshop automatically align and combine them. If that does not work I do it manually. So one way or another, it is a way to get the image.

The featured image is 2 horizontal images stacked vertically and combined.

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Another 2 shot composite. 2 horizontal images stacked in Photoshop. 300mm f/4 lens

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Example – showing top half of image before combining and adjusting colors, etc. in Photoshop.

Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Hanging Out In The Shade

I was walking down one of the paths early in the morning at the J.N. Ding Darling NWR. It was pretty dark on the sides of the path under the trees and mangroves. I heard Ibises moving in the lower branches of trees and in the mangroves but were mostly hidden by branches. Plus it was extremely dark to get a photo. Then I noticed this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron out in the open, standing under the branches. It was still very dark because the branches were blocking the rising sunlight. The Heron did not seem to be bothered and did not move, so I took a few shots and moved on. It was so dark where the Heron was, my shutter speed was very very slow, so I shot a series of bursts and purposely underexposed to get my shutter speed up. I did not want to raise my ISO, because the Canon camera I was using gets more “noise” at higher ISO’s. It was easier to work on sharpness later. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter giving me f/5.6 wide open.  I have more success with having less noise from not using a high ISO, and under exposing a little and then brightening my image in Photoshop. Then adding a “high” pass sharpening technique in Photoshop and blending it in.

 

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