This week I rented a high end Canon 70-300L lens and drove to Sanibel Island, FL to try it out and to go in search of giant White Pelicans. These pelicans migrate to Florida in the winter. I have seen some at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary where injured birds are taken, but never in the wild. I read that they cold be found at the
J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. This was my first trip there. It didn't take as long to get there as I thought-2 hours to nearby Fort Myers and an additional 30 minutes to the island.
Well the good news is I found my pelicans, the bad news though was that I could not get nearly as close to them as I wanted to! There is a 5 mile wild life drive at the refuge, you can pretty much pull over wherever you want to look around. Flocks of these pelicans were located in two locations on sand bars like this. Sanibel Island is a beautiful place! I drove all the way up and down it and parked at a few of the beaches.
Here are some other photos I took on my trip.
I really love using this 70-300mm L lens-I think it is the sharpest one I have ever used. Even though it is a bit heavier than the non 'L' lens I own of the same length and is fatter I find it easier to hold still hand held. Most of the these photos were shot at f5.6 and look at the beautiful blur or 'bokah' behind this flower!
I thought this photo looked best in Black and White-the sun was bright on the water but the reflection of the bird and lines on the water just looked really nice.
As it grew later in the afternoon the light turned golden and beautiful. I love the way it makes these shore birds on the beach practically glow!
Just before sunset I headed to Lighthouse Beach which features the Light House seen on the first photo on this post. Here I found some of the 'regular' pelicans I regularly see in St. Petersburg. This lens does a fantastic job of capturing them in flight!
This little pump was a part of the fishing pier there. I loved the way it looked with the setting sun shining upon it!
After spending the day at Sanibel I drove about an hour north to stay the night in a hotel in a town called
Punta Gorda. The next day I drove to Myakka River State Park near Sarasota before driving home. Sanibel is a wonderful place and I would love to spend a weekend there soon. The Thomas Edison/Henry Ford estates are in nearby Fort Myers and there are a lot of intriguing shops and restaurants I did not have the chance to check out. Tomorrow I will share some photos I took at Myakka river.