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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk
Thread started 03 Sep 2017 (Sunday) 15:04
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Honeymoon Island

 
Fordsabroad
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Joined May 2014
Hampshire - UK
Sep 03, 2017 15:04 |  #1

I am going to Florida for a week or so in November and would like to take the opportunity of improving my bird photography, I really am a novice at it. I have heard that there is an abundance of ospreys at Honeymoon Island. Can anyone give me any advice on this spot. IE is a day visit enough, what lens would be required (I am flying from the UK so are restricted by baggage allowance). Is November a good time of year, are there any better spots closer to Kissimmee/Davenport.
Any and all advice would be appreciated. I have been to Gatorland but would like to try birds of prey on this visit.




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Larry ­ Johnson
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Post has been edited 1 month ago by Larry Johnson.
Oct 04, 2017 21:21 |  #2

I'm not familiar with florida, so can't give you any first hand knowledge. I would expect osprey to be plentiful throughout. You might try contacting a local bird club or the state ornithilogical society for some info. Also, eBird is a good source. To learn what birders have reported, just type in the bird species name, set the date range and zoom into your area. https://ebird.org/ebir​d/map/ (external link)


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MalVeauX
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Oct 04, 2017 21:32 |  #3

Fordsabroad wrote in post #18443700 (external link)
I am going to Florida for a week or so in November and would like to take the opportunity of improving my bird photography, I really am a novice at it. I have heard that there is an abundance of ospreys at Honeymoon Island. Can anyone give me any advice on this spot. IE is a day visit enough, what lens would be required (I am flying from the UK so are restricted by baggage allowance). Is November a good time of year, are there any better spots closer to Kissimmee/Davenport.
Any and all advice would be appreciated. I have been to Gatorland but would like to try birds of prey on this visit.

You'll see Osprey around nearly any fairly large body of water in Florida. They're common. Kissimmee has quite a few nesting Bald Eagles too, you can look up the nest sites I believe. A day visit is fine for Osprey, they fish, so just go to the water during the morning and afternoon and listen. They announce when they're around and they often squabble with other birds in territory, they're not shy at all about that. They can be spooky if you're stomping around though. Right now lots of adults are fishing and still feeding their fledglings that are not quite fishing yet.

Take the longest lenses you can. Osprey are smaller birds as far as comparing them to other large raptors. Egret & Blue Heron are often huge compared to an Osprey.

Also, wild birds are a lot less likely to be ok with you walking around than a bird in a rookery or at a place where its common. Just walking out into an area they will not be likely to be ok with you standing around. So again, longest lens you have.

I find that on crop, 400~600 is still usually barely enough for wild osprey unless you are camped out near where they often fish/nest. Just walking up, they're spooky, and you need longer lenses. If you plan it and get there early and just wait them out, you can get closer.

Very best,


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Fordsabroad
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Oct 05, 2017 14:00 as a reply to Larry Johnson's post |  #4

Thanks for the advice, I have been in contact with a local birder who has given me a couple of suggestions closer to where I am staying so I will probably give them a try.




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Fordsabroad
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Oct 05, 2017 14:10 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #5

Thank you for your reply, I am still undecided as to what lenses to take. I now have the 600mm f4 but it is a beast of a thing to fly with. I could go with the 100 - 400 with the 1.4 converter on a crop sensor. I was thinking that an air boat ride could get me closer to some birds but I wouldn't fancy a 600mm on one of those!
I will try and look up the nest sites for the bald eagles as that would be great to come home with some pictures of them.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply, it is much appreciated.




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Phoenixkh
a mere speck
Joined May 2011
Gainesville, Florida
Oct 05, 2017 22:44 |  #6

Fordsabroad wrote in post #18466665 (external link)
Thank you for your reply, I am still undecided as to what lenses to take. I now have the 600mm f4 but it is a beast of a thing to fly with. I could go with the 100 - 400 with the 1.4 converter on a crop sensor. I was thinking that an air boat ride could get me closer to some birds but I wouldn't fancy a 600mm on one of those!
I will try and look up the nest sites for the bald eagles as that would be great to come home with some pictures of them.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply, it is much appreciated.

Our youngest son lives a few minutes from Honeymoon Island/Beach. We've been there lots of times. You 100-400 will give you enough reach for the ospreys in the trees there... as well as them fishing off the beaches. That said, last year, there was a pair of nesting bald eagles. I couldn't hardly spot them with 400mm and I doubt 600mm would do it either. It's all roped off so there is no way to get closer.


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Mike ­ Deep
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Tampa, FL
Oct 06, 2017 00:13 |  #7

There has been a pair of nesting bald eagles on Honeymoon Island for years. Unfortunately that means a good chunk of the northern trails on the island get closed every season to maintain a perimeter around the nest. I can't recall the exact dates they put up barriers, but I think they'll be up by November.

The best advice I can give if you want to see eagles is have patience. I've spent hours on Honeymoon waiting for them to appear or move to a more visible perch, and still don't have much to show for it.

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On a more positive note, you will see tons of Osprey quite easily.

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