Pair Of Sandhill Cranes in Flight

I was going through old images on backup Hard disks and found this image of a pair of Sandhill Cranes in flight at the Lake Woodruff NWR in Florida many years ago. Photographed with a Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 zoom lens. The Sigmonster as it was called was an interesting lens. Very Sharp at all focal lengths but TOUGH to carry around a large Refuge at 12+ lbs and then the tripod and camera body, but you could really work an area and get some Great Images!

Below is an image of some Whooping Cranes that stayed with that flock of Sandhill Cranes at Lake Woodruff that year.

Sometimes it is fun to go through old images.  Hopefully it shows your photography is getting better over time!

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White Ibis FlyBy From Lake Woodruff NWR

I am still going thru images from our photo trip to Florida. Here are a few more images from Lake Woodruff NWR of White Ibises we saw flying above us at Lake Woodruff NWR.




More Sandhill Cranes From Lake Woodruff NWR, Florida

I am still going through images from Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge on Florida from our trip there. It was nice to see a few Sandhill Cranes as we walked around the Refuge. This pair had a colt (Sandhill Crane chick) with them. We kept a considerable distance from them, but we were surprised they were so non-concerned about our presence there. They just concentrated on foraging in the grasses. I was using my backup camera with a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens with a 1.4X teleconverter for a focal length of 560mm. So we were not really that close to them. When you see them on the ground it is amazing how large they really are! When you photograph them flying or far off in the distance you know they are large, but seem even bigger when you are closer to them.

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Sandhill Crane Portraits

On our visit to Lake Wooodruff NWR in Deland, Florida we were lucky to find a few Sandhill Cranes. Years ago when we were there, we saw large flocks of Sandhill Cranes. But on this quick stop we only saw a scattered few.  All these photos are taken with a 400mm f/4 DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter as we were walking along the trails there. Lake Woodruff NWR does not seem to gather the large crowds of people as a well known Ding Darling NWR attracts. It has a small parking area and usually you only see a few people as you walk the trails and explore. In a way it is a little strange in that you feel quite alone there in this vast NWR. But it is a huge NWR in area and seems more relaxing to explore there. We visited on our way home so we got there in the afternoon when the birds are less active. Next post will have Sandhill Cranes with a Colt (Chick) foraging with the parents.

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Sandhill Crane greeting us on the entrance path on our way in.  2 horizontal images to make a Vertical Panorama, handheld. They are a LARGE Bird so even trying to shoot a vertical image Crane did not fit in image area.


Sandhill Cranes deeper in the Refuge

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Sandhill Crane Composite – 3 images. Reminded me of a wanted poster



Sandhill Crane Flyby from Lake Woodruff NWR

Here are a few more images from our photo trip to Florida. We picked a few of our favorite locations to visit plus some we passed along the way. Years ago we liked Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLeon Springs, Florida. It had suffered quite a bit of damage from hurricanes years ago. We have not been back for many years since then. So on our way home we stopped at Lake Woodruff NWR to see how it was and see what we could find to photograph. It is a huge refuge at 22,000 acres. The refuge contains a myriad of habitats, among them are marshes, swamps, creeks, hammocks and uplands.

Some of our favorite subjects here are the Sandhill Cranes & Swallow-tailed kites. You usually do not see them often at other refuges in Florida. On a previous trip years ago we saw a Whooping Crane in with the large flock of Sandhill Cranes. It was fun to see and photograph them, especially flying by.

On this trip we only saw 1 pair of Sandhill Cranes with a colt walking along the dykes and another one that did a close flyby.  I will start with the flyby images of the Sandhill Crane.

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Eye to Eye

We stopped at the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge as we were heading home from our trip to Florida. When we got there it was overcast and looked like it had really rained before we got there. We decided to go in anyway and soon after we started walking, it started to drizzle. We went on and found a few photo opportunities, but the light was quite dark and dreary. I found these Little Blue Herons in a tree along the path. I thought it was interesting, there was an Immature (the white bird with bluish beak) and a Mature Little Blue looking at each other. The lighting was horrible and I had to raise my ISO to 1600 which starts to get noisy on a Canon EOS 1D MkIV. I try to keep the ISO to 1250 max, preferably 400, but I wanted to use f/8 for a little more depth of field. In Adobe Camera Raw I got as much noise as I could out without loosing too much detail. We went on looking for Sandhill Cranes and I finally saw a few flying in and landing in a group of about 20. They were really far out, but at least we saw some.

Sandhill Cranes at Lake Woodruff, National Wildlife Refuge

I was going over old files from the archives and found this image of 2 Sandhill Cranes from a visit to The Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLeon Springs, Florida. The refuge is over 21,000 acres and consists of 11,100 acres of freshwater marsh, 7,200 acres of hardwood swamps and over 1,000 acres of lakes streams and canals. We like going to National Wildlife Refuges because it is like going on a treasure hunt. You never know what you will find to photograph. From River Otters to Bald Eagles and Alligators, there is a huge variety of birds, mammals & reptiles. There are also photo opportunities from macro to landscapes – sunrises to sunsets, so you have a full day for photography. Walk through and see what you can find. Watch for Ospreys, Kites and a large variety of birds. Keep and eye open for Bitterns , Soras and other birds along the shore in the grasses. A great place to explore. Be aware of the closing time listed at the visitor center though, because they want to lock the gate after closing time.

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