American Avocets At Bombay Hook NWR

On our visit to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge we saw large flocks of American Avocets. The only problem was they were so far out in the Shearness Pool. Photographing large flocks was acceptable at 600mm, but I added a 2x teleconverter to get to 1200mm for individual Avocets. Even then I had to crop quite tightly for the individual Avocets. These are also handheld, so I upped my ISO to 1200 ISO and f/16 hoping for more sharpness with the 2X Teleconverter.

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Avocets @ 600mm

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Avocets @ 1200mm

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Avocets @ 1200mm

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Avocets @ 1200mm

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Avocets @ 1200mm

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Avocets @ 1200mm

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Avocets @ 600mm

Courting Wood Storks

Wood_Stork_Courting_v2_76A4385With all the nests at the rookery, it was probable you would find some birds mating. Did not think it would be Wood Storks though. These Storks were at the top of one of the tallest trees in the Rookery. Not sure if it was their nest or an existing abandoned nest. Images shot @ 600mm. The images below are why there are so many nests at the Rookery. The alligators are basically protecting the nests from predators that would climb up the trees to feed on the young birds. These are just a few of the 30 or more alligators below the walkway.

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More Great Egret Nests

Among the wide variety of nesting birds at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Rookery, there are many Great Egret nests in the trees. This blog post shows a few of these.  It is amazing to see so many nests in most of the trees. Some trees have a dozen or more nests in a single tree. Also the variety of birds nesting in the same tree.

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