Immature Black-crowned Night Heron
It's always a pleasure adding new species to ones wildlife image collection. Birders identify their first sighting of a species as seeing a lifer, as in adding it to their life list. For me as a wildlife photographer a lifer occurs when I capture the birds image. This post features three lifers all captured during my recent Florida visit.
Taking a stroll along a well worn path at the Circle B Bar Reserve I had decided to travel light and carried the Canon 60D with the 100-400 L IS lens, leaving the pod behind. Spotting the heron in a deeply shaded area I immediately regretted leaving the tripod behind. My only option was to brace against a tree, increase the ISO to 640, shoot at 1/50sec and hope for the best.
Shortly after leaving the black-crowned night heron I noticed movement in the deep ravine to the other side of the path and a closer look revealed this American bittern standing perfectly still hoping to avoid detection. Once again handicapped by the lack of the tripod I braced against a tree capturing this image at 1/50 sec.
Lesson learned, never leave the tripod behind! The image stabilization and the handy bracing trees helped a great deal but the image quality would have been much better shot from a steady support.
However when I encountered this greater yellowlegs feeding in the shallows of Lake Kissimme I was ready with the 600 F4 IS mounted solidly on the tripod. The results are worth the extra effort.