I couldn’t resist the itch to try out my 500mm lens any more! It was pretty windy today, so rather than going to Circle B, Rich and I went up to Oakland Nature Preserve at sunset.
Maybe I’m just very spoiled by Circle B, but Oakland doesn’t seem to have as many birds as it used to. We used to see dozens of Ospreys sitting high in the trees, usually with fish. We didn’t see a single one today. But we did see little birds, especially at one point in the boardwalk. There were tons of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, several Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, one Black-and-White Warbler, and a White-Eyed Vireo.
I used my 500mm lens plus my 1.4x teleconverter today. With my 7D body, that makes an effective focal length of 1120mm!! I didn’t have any trouble locating birds with just the 500mm, since I’m using to using my 400mm plus my 1.4x teleconverter. But when I added the 1.4x teleconverter to the 500mm, I did have a bit of trouble finding the birds in the frame. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. :)
A Gray Catbird hopped in front of me and started to devour some red berries. I didn’t get a good shot of him eating, but I liked the one of him reaching! “Mieu! Go home and feed Squirt!”
We spotted the White-Eyed Vireo hopping around in some trees, and it hopped in front of me several times before I could finally focus on the silly bird. But when I did, wow! He had just caught a little spider and proceeded to eat it for the camera. :-D
When we got down to the lake, the usual Common Moorhens, Great Blue Herons, and Anhingas were there to greet us. The Great Blue Herons across the lake were starting to build nests. I watched one couple adding branches to theirs, while another bird guarded her nest by herself just above. I couldn’t believe I was almost filling the frame with a scene that was so far away! Thank you, Rich!!!
As we walked back, the sun was setting. It kept hitting patches of red and yellow leaves, making them stand out against all the dead foliage. People say that Florida doesn’t have fall colors, but it does, if you know where to look. They just tend to come in the winter!
The sun had disappeared and the light was low when this little Yellow-Rumped Warbler posed in front of me, eating some berries or nuts on a distant tree. I’m going to have such fun with this lens!!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Oakland Nature Preserve?
Check out my Oakland Nature Preserve page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!