Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pic of the Day

Immature Purple Gallinule
     Purple Gallinule (immature) – Shark Valley Slough; Everglades National Park, Florida:
Purple Gallinules are one of the most colorful birds in the states.  One of the best places to photograph this menagerie of blues and aquas is Shark Valley Slough on the northern end of Everglades NP. 
This past January I was at Shark Valley looking for purple gallinules.  I was waiting for an adult to come out of the reeds I found this immature eagerly pulling flower bulbs off Everglades Water Lilies.  I captured this bird in mid stride as it swiftly crossed the water using its long toes to distribute its weight on the lily pads.
If you are planning a trip to Shark Valley, the best time of year to visit is from late January to early March.   Shark Valley is also an early morning shoot as the walking path lies on the east side of the slough.  The early morning south Florida light is exquisite, but the park entrance is not open until after sunrise.  I have often found the canal that runs east and west, on the south side of the Tamiami Trail at the entrance of Shark Valley Slough a great location to shoot until park gate opens. 
     By the way, the adult purple gallinule finally did come out of the reeds, and it did allowed me to take a few frames before skulking back into the shadows.    

     Top Image:  Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/400 second @ f8
Bottom Image:  Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/320 second @ f9 

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