Today was very frustrating. The winds were so high and the bay so choppy that I was spinning 180 degrees every time I attempted a shot. Flocks of glossy ibis and black skimmers were within 15 feet of my craft and I got nothing. Still great to see so close, though. Skimmers are not skittish birds. The wading birds are still migrating in, but a bonus is that yellow-crowned night herons are breeding in the area. I never saw them last summer. Still have not seen a GBH in Avalon yet.
I love my 400 5.6L but I'm finding it a little short right now. I'd love to have the 400 DO with a 1.4 to take out. My favorite hiding spots aren't quite yet filled with birds yet. Even the male ospreys right on the public waterways aren't chasing me around because there's no chicks yet and some are still building their nests. I think I'm going to invest in a bag blind and camp in the shallows where the waders will be feeding regularly in a few weeks and watercraft can't navigate through.
The first four shots are from yesterday, the rest today.
1. American Oystercatcher - Uncropped
2. Same guy, cropped
3. Snowy Egret Taking Flight
4. Green Heron Enjoying the Sunset from his Deck
5. Tern Nest. I stumbled upon this by accident while hugging the marshline to avoid the current. I was surprised because it's in a VERY busy area between two marinas where hundreds of watercraft, including the Coast Guard, navigate on a busy summer weekend. I took a few quick drive-by shots then kept paddling so as to not upset the birds too much. You can see one of the marinas in the bokeh.
6. Yellow-Crowned Night Heron w/ Breakfast. These guys are very skittish and 400mm won't quite do the trick unless they are seriously on the hunt. They feed on crustaceans (as you can see) and regurgitate the shells. I read on BNA online that human contact will sometimes make these birds regurgitate very quickly. Sure enough, one that saw me three days ago flew right into a tree and did just that even though I was probably 30 yards away.
7. Double-crested Cormorants Migrating into NJ