While in Florida, we had a unique opportunity to attend a “Raptorfest” at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, a local nature preserve in St. Petersburg. It was a wonderful experience to see some awesome raptors, up close and personal, as well as some flight demonstrations. I was especially awed in watching a Peregrine Falcon speed demonstration … if you’ve never seen a peregrine diving toward it’s prey, let me tell you it is very impressive to witness the extreme speed of this bird as it made it’s dive towards it’s prey. Unfortunately, there were so many people at the festival that it was very difficult to get good photos. After the demonstrations, Tom and I went walking around the preserve to get away from the crowds and to see what we could see. As we followed a narrow body of water, we came upon a small bridge to the other side. After crossing the bridge, we were met with a lot of shrubs and dense foliage, but as we rounded this dense foliage, we came upon a 7-foot American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) that we nearly didn’t see. I’m sure we would have noticed if we stepped on it! Just goes to show that when you’re in Florida … even in a large city … ya gotta watch your step! Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 1D Mark 3 body + Canon 1.4x TC, shot at 560mm
- Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens
- Handheld, with IS “On”
- ISO 500
- Aperture f/11
- Shutter 1/125 sec. – 1/160 sec.