Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 2- Ding Darling Explodes with Wildlife!

Being much better prepared for our second day, we headed for Ding Darling in the morning with greater expectations than last nights visit. A few wrong turns later, we finally arrive at around 9 a.m, not exactly early morning, but anyway...

Our first photo op was a very cooperative Little Blue Heron. The bonus was that he was in the midst of catching a crab. Again, this guy was right next to the road, so anybody with any kind of lens could get a great close up. We left him to his feast as the excitement built for what could possibly be around the corner...

(Click on photo to see the crab!)

It just so happened that another little blue heron in it's white morph phase was fishing. I thought it was so cool to see the different stages of the little blue. You would not get confused with ID, as I thought I might, when you take a look at the blueish bill. Unmistakable!

And here again, as we went down the road, discovered yet another Little Blue Heron in the inbetween stage of white morph and blue. So freakin cool!

Now this shot is my first look at the Roseate Spoonbill. He was quite a distance off, but not knowing if I would ever see one, I had to get some shots and wish for the best. They came out better than expected, and of course I didn't know I would get much closer shots later that week. This particular guy is what brought me to Florida in the first place. This unusual creature has always intrigued me, along with the various other herons I had yet to see. Add a Burrowing Owl, and the destination was a must see!

Here is another fascinating creature I had never seen with my own eyes before. The White Ibis was alot smaller than I had thought. That blue eye was just as blue as I've seen in pictures, but seeing it "for realsies" was awesome!

(Click on photo to see the blue eye!)

Another amazingly cool wader was this Reddish Egret. Isn't he handsome? That plumage was gorgeous! I still can't believe that all these species were concentrated here in this place!

And last but certainly not least, we stumble upon this Tricolored Heron. He flew to this log after we walked over a bridge. He must have been on the waters edge too close to us and flew just a few feet away for safety. He was completely at ease standing on the log. We took his picture for at least 5 minutes, and he could care less. Yet another handsome guy to mark off my list!

And that concludes the trip through Ding Darling. I will continue Tuesdays sightings tomorrow with a new post, as the day got even better!

I will also share so many more photos that I got from Ding Darling, but I didn't want to overwhelm the post with too many photos to look at, so I will save them for additional postings after I get through posting about each day. I loved this area!


jalynn01 said...

OMGosh! What magnificent photography... I am so impressed with the clarity and color and your ability to capture these birds up close and personal. Can't wait to see more!!

Tina said...

I'm just so happy you caught all these birds on your second day. Your photos are so detailed and the colors are great. I wasn't sure what birds you might see during the summer months. Can't wait to see what is next!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I have always heard about Ding Darling and would love to be there in person.Your pictures are fabulous.Now I realy want to see this place.

Willard said...

You have posted a lot of amazing images of your trip to Ding Darling.

I had not realized you were using the 300mm 2.8 until you commented about it on my blog, but I thought by the quality of your work that you must be using one of the "big guns". I think the 2x is more viable with the 300mm than with the 500mm as one loses auto-focus with the 500mm F4 on the 30&40-D because of the f8 aperture, while it is retained with the 300mm because it is 5.6 with the 2x. In addition the 300mm is supposed to be a slightly sharper lens than the 500mm and may utilize the 2x somewhat better. One of the best photographers that I know uses the 300mm when possible for his serious work and he has a high opinion of it with the 2x. I suppose at some point I need to get a 300mm 2.8, as I'm sure I would really like it.

Bird Girl said...

This is just magnificent to see all these waders in ONE place! I really enjoyed seeing the little blue heron with the crab and then in various phases - so neat! That white ibis stole the show for me - what a gorgeous shot you got of this one!And the detail in the tricolored heron is just amazing - I'm so jealous! I wish I was with you at DD!!!