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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 17 Feb 2013 (Sunday) 17:19
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Corkscrew and Big Cypress in Florida

 
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Feb 17, 2013 17:19 |  #1

I'm interested in know the best areas of these two locations for bird photography. These are such large areas and I've never visited them to know where to start. I'd be interested in knowing of other hot spots in that area as well. I'm not planning to shoot the Everglades but I would if my timing is right for the activity, especially at the south end. My time frame is April 14th-20th. Any suggestions and tips would be greatly appreciated.


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G3G4G5
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Feb 17, 2013 18:54 |  #2

Steve, Corkscrew is an awesome place. Lots of different habitat that is all reached by a boardwalk. Have thrown my 500 and tripod over my shoulder and done the whole loop. There is a visitor center with displays, restrooms, snack bar, etc. I think it cost about $8 to get in. If you go during the week, make sure you go early to avoid any school field trips and early on the weekends to have the place to yourself.

I think Ian, (Wallace River) went recently and may have more updated info. I was there last in 2011. Definately worthwhile!


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Feb 17, 2013 21:20 |  #3

G3G4G5 wrote in post #15621311 (external link)
Steve, Corkscrew is an awesome place. Lots of different habitat that is all reached by a boardwalk. Have thrown my 500 and tripod over my shoulder and done the whole loop. There is a visitor center with displays, restrooms, snack bar, etc. I think it cost about $8 to get in. If you go during the week, make sure you go early to avoid any school field trips and early on the weekends to have the place to yourself.

I think Ian, (Wallace River) went recently and may have more updated info. I was there last in 2011. Definately worthwhile!

Thanks Chris, that's very helpful. I'll get in touch with Ian, I hope I can do half as well as he did down there.


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Feb 17, 2013 21:36 |  #4

Steve,

I live 14 miles from Corkscrew and have a annual membership. Another place if its still open ( they are repaving the road ) is Ding Darling http://www.fws.gov/din​gdarling/ (external link) Send me a PM with your contact info and I'll try to meet you a either location.

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Billginthekeys
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Feb 18, 2013 20:50 |  #5

Corkscrew is a great place, and definitely a good idea to have a tripod, as many of the birds can be in fairly dim conditions under the trees.


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gymell
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Feb 19, 2013 11:59 |  #6

Try to hit Cape Coral for burrowing owls, they should be quite active at the time you plan to be in the area.

I was at Corkscrew a couple of weekends ago, a local pro had told me it's a good place for birdwatching and macro photography, but not so much for bird photography. After visiting myself, I tend to agree. I walked the entire boardwalk but didn't bother taking my camera. I think the light conditions would be challenging and any red-shouldered hawk views would be looking up pretty high.


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Wallace ­ River
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Feb 20, 2013 07:03 as a reply to  @ gymell's post |  #7

Hi Steve, I never made it to Big Cypress, but Corkscrew was great when I went. I had my 1D4, 500 f/4 and the RRS tripod with Wimberley, and it was a lot to haul. As a result, I didn't do the whole 2.1 mile loop, rather took a shortcut and did about half that distance. Below is a trail map, along with some of the shots I got in Corkscrew. The hawks are very "tame" and let you get real close. There is a Redshouldered nest about 10 minutes into the trail, and the hawk was close by up in a tree when I got there with several people standing clicking away. He wasn't bothered at all. The YCNH's were across a small pond in the Lettuce Lakes area, very visible most of the time. And immediately inside the gate from the Visitor Centre they have a bird feeder where the Indigo Buntings were hanging out, usually in the bushes or on the ground, and a bit hard to get at. The red marked trail is what I followed.
1. Corkscrew Swamp Trail Map

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8383/8491222629_8c058c3edd_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​491222629/  (external link)
Corkscrew Swamp Trail Map (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr
2. Taken right inside the Visistors Centre entry gate
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8324/8411733639_4f230437ee_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​411733639/  (external link)
IMGL7107 Indigo Bunting (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr
3. Also taken near the Visitor Centre
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8511/8411733171_86379abecf_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​411733171/  (external link)
IMGL7050 Red Bellied Woodpecker (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr
4. Taken on the last wooded section of the trail. This hawk was hunting right near his nest, and flew up into the nest with an Anhinga, and then aftereward with a huge frog.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8510/8411732475_b0ee6645da_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​411732475/  (external link)
IMGL7004 Red Shouldered Hawk with Anhinga Dinner (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr
5.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8411732115_a20962fdf1_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​411732115/  (external link)
IMGL6968 Anhinga (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr
6.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8227/8412830510_dfea061fbf_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​412830510/  (external link)
IMGL6906 Yellow Crowned Night Heron (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr
7. This guy was near the start of the trail, maybe 20' up a tree, near the trail.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8218/8411730269_cb9d225335_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​411730269/  (external link)
IMGL6854 Red Shouldered Hawk (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr
8. Taken near the entry. I had never seen a Catbird but apparently they are common down there.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8502/8411733315_1dc6cf45f0_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/wallaceriver/8​411733315/  (external link)
IMGL7063 Catbird (external link) by Wallace River (external link), on Flickr

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cdiver2
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Feb 20, 2013 08:06 |  #8

Steve I would have to agree with gymell on Corkscrew. I dont know how you are fixed for traveling but if you can get further north-east take a look at this thread https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1276718
The burrowing owls are also good.




  
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gymell
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Feb 20, 2013 08:58 |  #9

Yes, Viera Wetlands are definitely worth a visit if you are able to head further north. Also Cruickshank Sanctuary for easy Florida scrub jay shots.

Venice Rookery is another good spot, closer to where you will be (about 45 miles N of Ft Myers.)

I enjoyed my visit to Corkscrew, it was a nice bird watching walk with many warblers, red-shouldered hawks, and my lifer painted bunting (much smaller than I expected!)


-Liz
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Wallace ­ River
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Feb 20, 2013 10:29 as a reply to  @ gymell's post |  #10

Don't forget they are closing Ding Darling from May through September for repaying the road. And they are always closed on Fridays.


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gymell
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Feb 20, 2013 10:47 |  #11

They are only closing the Wildlife Drive. But other areas will still be open for access.

Wildlife Drive will be closed for repaving from May through September of 2013. Indigo Trail will only be accessible through guided tours conducted by Tarpon Bay Explorers. All other refuge access locations, including Tarpon Bay Recreation Area and the Bailey Tract will remain open. Visitors will continue to have access to the free Visitor Education Center.


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Feb 20, 2013 10:56 |  #12

Thanks everyone for all of the great suggestions.

Chris, thanks for the heads up on the school field trips. That can make shooting tough for sure.

Jon, thanks for the offer. I'm still working out my itinerary for April. I have a couples of places that are for certain but I try to work the east, southeast, southwest and then west central. The order is yet to be determined. Once I have a clearer idea I'll contact you if Corkscrew or Ding Darling are on the final list.

CDiver2, thanks for the link.

Liz, I've been to Viera multiple times and will try to work it in again, most days it's productive. I've been to Cruickshank a couple of times and got some good shots of a Pileated too. I'll look into Venice but it appears that a lot of the nests are a pretty good distance. Also. I'm trying to get more raptors into the mix this time, maybe some Swallow-tailed Kites, owls, hawks, etc. I've photographed the Burrowing Owls a few times on both coasts but might try again this year if possible.

Ian, thanks again for all of your tips and info. I'm working toward mid April so that should get me in just before they close Ding Darling, unless they move the dates. I'll probably call ahead to be sure. You got great results at Corkscrew and around the state. I'd be more comfortable with two weeks down there but I'll have to condense my opportunities into a week and hope for nice weather.

Thanks again everyone.


Steve
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gymell
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Feb 20, 2013 11:28 |  #13

Actually at Venice Rookery the island is quite close to shore. I had a 500 + 1.4 tc and felt like it was too much focal length.

I saw crested caracaras at Viera when I was there (this was several years ago.)

Also check for snail kites at and around Harns Marsh Preserve, which is near Ft Myers. I saw 5 of them there.

Corkscrew might be worth a try in spite of what I said, red-shouldered hawks are plentiful there and you might get lucky with a good angle.


-Liz
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Feb 20, 2013 15:43 |  #14

gymell wrote in post #15631897 (external link)
Actually at Venice Rookery the island is quite close to shore. I had a 500 + 1.4 tc and felt like it was too much focal length.

I saw crested caracaras at Viera when I was there (this was several years ago.)

Also check for snail kites at and around Harns Marsh Preserve, which is near Ft Myers. I saw 5 of them there.

Corkscrew might be worth a try in spite of what I said, red-shouldered hawks are plentiful there and you might get lucky with a good angle.


Thanks Liz. I've got Venice on the list it just depends how many days we end up plotting out for the southwest area. Viera has been hit and miss the lat couple of visits but when it's good it's very good. I've seen quite a few Caracara there as well. I might check out the click ponds there as well, never been. Harns Marsh sounds very interesting, I've seen some nice images taken there and the Snail Kites would be fun. It looks like a good place to be able to shoot low angle along the water too.


Steve
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Angelmia
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Feb 23, 2013 00:58 |  #15

Lots of activity going at the Venice Rookery ., I was there the weekend before Valentines . I was able to capture some decent images with my 70-200 along with the extender . I don't think you'll be disappointed .
As for Corkscrew I was disappointed ., not much was going on the day I went though I think the cold front we recently had may have been a factor .


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Corkscrew and Big Cypress in Florida
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