Lately I’ve been waking up and ducking out to North Jersey’s Great Swamp National Wildlife Reserve and cashing in on the sunlight left for me. My schedule and myself being adversely affected by mornings, it’s been a particular challenge to shoot for more than an hour or two with the strength of the sun, which handicaps me when it comes to stopping the action of the smaller birds. But on my 4th and 5th trips I found the sun drenched swamp to be fully engaging myself and my gear, and the results we’re very encouraging.
The sun kept catching these Black-Capped Chicadee’s so there were some interesting lighting situations that allowed me to occasionally push my shutter speed, and I’m glad they are outgoing enough to play in the shallow water 10 feet away from me. Very happy with this picture set, although I think the nature of the composition of a few of these shots leave them a bit dim. Can’t wait to get out in the full sun again.I believe these are Black-Capped based on where I saw them, but anywhere south of the swamp is a bit of a border between Black-Capped and Carolina Chicadees, which are very difficult to tell apart.
Chipmunks were everywhere speeding through the thick underbrush. Alerting me to their location with their scurrying or, a few times where I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. Nice to know these guys are around. Has my hopes up for an owl.
This image really tested my gear. f/2.8 at 16,000 ISO moments before darkness. Not bad cropped.
This shoot first time I really had sunlight on a feeder through one of the blinds at the Great Swamp. It was fun trying to set up shots trying to push 1/2500 and higher for a change. There is a Mourning dove that hangs out at this feeder but it never does anything interesting for me. Maybe a little different wing position would have made this Blue Jay great.
These White-Tailed deer didn’t mind me at all.
BONUS: Could have been an interesting shot below if I wouldn’t have missed it. I don’t know, you be the judge. Until next time! More trips to the swamp soon. If you haven’t check out my first post New Journeys. The biodiversity is incredible in the Great Swam and I plan on showing it in vivid color here.