Saturday, December 29, 2007

Life is good!

Today ranks among my all-time best days of bird photography. It started with another airboat charter ( to shoot Snail Kites. We also got great shots of Bald Eagle and Belted Kingfisher.
For the afternoon, I shot at the Viera Wetlands and immediately after arrival lucked into a Bald Eagle in great evening light. I ended the day shooting artistic silhouettes of Glossy Ibis flying against a red sky.
What a day!

Snail Kite carrying Apple Snail (Lake Kissimmee):

Bald Eagle in flight (Lake Kisssimmee):

Belted Kingfisher at Lake Kissimmee (my first decent shot after trying for 15 years!):

Bald Eagle in evening light (Viera Wetlands):

Glossy Ibis in flight after sunset (Viera Wetlands):

Friday, December 28, 2007

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

We spent most of today shooting at Merrit Island NWR. The bird gods were with us....
All shot with EOS 1d2N; 500/4IS with 1.4 or 2x TC. Small crops on a couple of these to improve framing.

Hooded Merganser male:

Great Egret:

Florida Scrub Jay:

Osprey with fish. The midday light was harsh when I shot this, so I used the drop in Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer. Doubt I would have shot this without the polarizer.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Florida's signature birds....

Today was a glory day of bird photography. We started with an air boat ride that put us up close to Snail Kites and then moved on to shoot Brown-headed Nuthatches and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. I've been trying to shoot these three species every year I visit Florida and this was my first successful attempt.

All with EOS 1D2n; 500/4IS; 1.4x or 2x TC.

Sandhill Cranes:

Snail Kite:

Snail Kite:

Brown-headed Nuthatch:

Red-cockaded Woodpecker:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Loggerhead Shrikes

I spent a very overcast morning today shooting Loggerhead Shrikes. Tomorrow we're heading out on an airboat to photograph Snail Kites - I can't wait!

All with EOS 1D2n; 500/4 IS (some with 1.4x convertor); 580EXII (fill flash).

That's me in central Florida pinewood forest yesterday, shooting Pine Warblers:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Florida birds...

I'm sitting in a hotel parking lot hijacking their WIFI connection.... so will keep this short. Shooting is great - having a blast with the 500/4IS lens - this is my first serious bird photography trip with that lens and it's incredible.

Here are a few shots from the past couple days. I have so many more to post... next time I find a good internet connection.
Happy holidays!

Wood Stork (at Loxahatchee NWR):

Turkey Vulture (at TM Goodwin marsh):

Tricolor Heron reflection (at Loxahatchee NWR):

Pine Warbler (at Three Lakes WMU):

Carolina Wren (at Three Lakes WMU):

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Key Deer to Green Cay

Today was an incredible day of shooting, starting with more Key Deer and ending at Green Cay with some of the best wetland bird photography I've experienced. I'm tired and have barely started to process the birds - more to come soon!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Key West

I've been having lots of fun here in Key West - a mix of photography, suntanning with my Ipod cranked and eating tons of seafood. I certainly wouldn't consider Key West a great destination for nature photography (underwater excluded). There are a few tame waterbird opportunities and the requisite palm trees on the beach, but otherwise it's over-developed. Not to mention all the crazy hippies, who gravitate towards big lenses and don't stop talking. The culture is interesting down here, to say the least.

Tomorrow we head north and I'm looking forward to some very good bird photo spots.

Here are a few I shot yesterday and today.

1) Palm trees: EOS 1DmIIn; 17-40mm; Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer LB

2-3) Black Skimmers in flight: EOS 1DmIIn; 500f4IS

4-5) Double-crested Cormorant stretching wings: EOS 1DmIIn; 500f4IS with Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer LB (retrofitted to Canon drop in polarizer).

Happy shooting!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Key Deer - southern Florida

Hello everyone - it's been a long time since my last post. Sorry! I've been consumed with moving (to the Midland, Ontario area) and getting my life and office back in order.

I escaped the snow today and flew to Florida to join my folks for a holiday trip. We're in Key West for a few days then off to central Florida, a hub for many great bird photo locations.

Driving to Key West this afternoon we stopped to look for Key Deer, a small endangered deer endemic to the southern Florida Keys. Our timing was perfect, the deer were active at sunset feeding along the roadsides. I only had about a half hour of shooting, but was pleased to get these - my first photos of the species.

EOS 1DmIIN (loaner from Canon); 500/4IS
Prepared on a brand-new, uncalibrated laptop. Let me know if they look ok.

Keep your eyes out for many more posts over the holidays!