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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Wakodahatchee Wetlands

February 28th, 2011 · No Comments

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We returned on February 24 to the Atlantic Ocean side of Florida for the last day of Russ Burden’s natural photo tour of the birds of Florida. Our final destination was the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, 23 miles South of West Palm Beach. There Palm Beach County has transformed 50 acres unused utility land into a recreation wetlands open to the public with a three-quarter mile boardwalk that crosses between open water pond areas, marsh areas, and islands with shrubs and snags to foster nesting and roosting. We saw it all.

The first scene that captured my attention was of a dule of three Turtles sunning on a snag. That was good enough for me to intend to capture their image. But then an Anhinga sunned itself on top of the snag, completing the scene.

One Anhinga and Three Turtles

One Anhinga and Three Turtles

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We saw lots more:

A Brace of Mottled Ducks

A Brace of Mottled Ducks

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A Florida Gallinule (Also Known as a Common Moorhen)

A Florida Gallinule (Also Known as a Common Moorhen)

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Sometimes you have to break the rules. One of the common rules of photography is to shoot with the sun at your back. But Russ encouraged us to take this back-lit shot.

A Green Heron

A Green Heron

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Great Egrets Mating

Great Egrets Mating

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But we focused most of our attention on the result of mating — chicks. But Great Blue Heron chicks and at two separate nests.

A Great Blue Heron Family

A Great Blue Heron Family

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A Different Great Blue Heron Family

A Different Great Blue Heron Family

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Just after sunset on our last full day of the Birds of Florida tour this Great Egret flew by against the illuminated sky to cap our incredibly successful trip.

The End of a Perfect Day

The End of a Perfect Day

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The whole trip was great fun, especially because it was so demanding. Bird photography is one of the most challenging forms of photography. But the challenge is, in fact, one of the big reasons why I like to do it so much. The demands of bird photography — the combination of technical and artistic requirements and the quick movement of the birds — require such close attention that it becomes a meditation. Everything else in the world falls away except for what I see through my viewfinder.

During the 12 days that I experienced south Florida I looked through my viewfinder a lot. I took more than 8,000 images with my new Canon 7D camera. Quite a few of them pleased me.

Before going to Florida, I had only taken 410 shots with my new camera and had hardly used my new tripod and ball head at all. Now as my passion for photography grows I know how my equipment works.

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Posted in: Florida, Photography

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