Making up for a week without a single click

Canada Goose  

Ok, no post last week. I have been on a business trip and despite driving more than a thousand miles I was not able to make a single click. I guess I made up for this yesterday and spent almost seven hours in the Green Island Wetlands near the Mississippi. It was a great day to be outside in the warm sun. Lots of wildlife seemed to enjoy the spring weather as well.

As the title of my blog suggests, my blog is not just about photography, it is also about sharing wildlife encounters and locations with you and if you live in or near Eastern Iowa I like to encourage you to go out and see the wetlands yourself. Right now, during bird migration is the best time to be there.

Not all animals come within a range where a click can be made but here is a list of what I saw yesterday:

Painted Turtle

Red-tailed Hawk (two at the same time but I screwed up and didn't get them in focus :-(   )

Lesser Yellowleg (more to come)

American White Pelican (A large scoop has arrived but was too far away for my lens today)

Song Sparrow

Northern Shoveler

Blue-winged Teal

Green-winged Teal



Wood Duck

Wilson's Snipe (A first sighting for me! More to  come)

Canada Goose (of course!)

American Coot

Muskrat (more to come)

Northern Leopard Frog

Great Blue Heron

Bald Eagle

Turkey Vulture (Finally got some good shots of this bird)

Great Egret (To my surprise I saw a single egret. Have never seen one so early.)

Red-winged Blackbird (they took possession of their breeding grounds and have spread everywhere)

There is a lake in the backwaters that was covered with thousands of waterbirds. I'm sure there were some more species I have not listed here. There is no way accessing this area of the wetlands without scaring them because you can't use the car as a blind and the area is wide open.


Painted Turtle


Making an image of the Painted Turtles is always a challenge in bright sunlight. You may ask, why didn't you use a polarizing filter to eliminate glare and reflections? Well, I don't have an 86 mm filter that would fit the Sigma 50-500 and I have no intends to get one. It does not happen very often that I miss the polarizer on the long lens and most of the time there wouldn't be enough light to keep the shutter speed in a manageable range anyway. Laying down in the dirt makes for a more interesting perspective and also helps a little with the glare on the turtle shell.

I haven't been able to sort through all images from yesterday's shooting trip but there will be more to come. So please stay tuned! ;-)