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Old Tuesday 1st April 2014, 00:47   #26
JGobeil
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Peter - generally I'd agree with Jules' recommendation - especially if you're trying to photograph the smaller birds, a 400mm, especially if you have a 1.4x TC to use if needed, would be the best overall lens to have. Just to warn you though, if you are using a crop body camera (APS-C) there will be times at Wakodahatchee especially where you may be too close to fit the birds in the frame. Some of the nesting birds, if they're still there when you come, are within 15 feet, and 500mm in 35mm-equivalent terms is too much lens to fit them in the frame. Sometimes having a slightly shorter focal might be good - maybe even keep it in the car if you can, or bring one along...that 70-300 could come in handy in a pinch for those situations. If you're shooting full frame sensor, a 400mm plus a TC would be a pretty solid choice - 80-85% of your shots could be covered with the TC, and another 10% or so without the TC - there would only be a few situations where a bird may be a little too close to get.

I typically walk around both parks with a 300mm prime and 1.4x TC, on an APS-C crop body - so I'm using a 630mm-equivalent focal crop - it works for probably 80-90% of my needs, only occasionally being a little too much lens for the situation - if I pull off the 1.4X TC, I can pull it back to 450mm equivalent which helps. At Wakodahatchee though, I've gone birding with a 200mm equivalent lens and still been able to fill the frame without cropping, for some of the closer birds.
Hi Justin,

From what you write, it looks like my 600 mm scope (1200mm on the Oly EM-1, 1800mm with the 1.5X TN) will be overkill... Should I still carry it around ? Luckily, I also have a Panny 100-300mm lens (200-600mm EQ.)

Thanks for the tips
Jules
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Old Tuesday 1st April 2014, 04:50   #27
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By all means bring it, if you don't mind carrying it or can keep it in the car - while many of the birds will be awfully close, there are always going to be more distant and smaller birds worth having more reach for. I do still bring my 200-500mm lens there, and have used every bit of the 750mm-equivalent reach AND still cropped tighter to get some more distant birds. At Wako, you'll have plenty to shoot with 200-500mm of 35mm equivalent reach, but bring more focal length and you can still shoot the more distant egret and wood stork nests, distant kingfishers, osprey sitting in the treetops eating fish, and the various small warblers which even at 20-25 feet require a good 600+mm equivalent to fill the frame!
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Old Tuesday 1st April 2014, 08:26   #28
JGobeil
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By all means bring it, if you don't mind carrying it or can keep it in the car - while many of the birds will be awfully close, there are always going to be more distant and smaller birds worth having more reach for. I do still bring my 200-500mm lens there, and have used every bit of the 750mm-equivalent reach AND still cropped tighter to get some more distant birds. At Wako, you'll have plenty to shoot with 200-500mm of 35mm equivalent reach, but bring more focal length and you can still shoot the more distant egret and wood stork nests, distant kingfishers, osprey sitting in the treetops eating fish, and the various small warblers which even at 20-25 feet require a good 600+mm equivalent to fill the frame!

Will do ! Carrying both is the usual way for me. Thanks
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Old Tuesday 1st April 2014, 15:07   #29
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By the way, let me know if you're down in this area (Boynton) come Saturday, April 5 as I'll be headed up to Green Cay and Wakodahatchee, and would be nice to say hi.
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Old Sunday 13th April 2014, 15:24   #30
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By the way, let me know if you're down in this area (Boynton) come Saturday, April 5 as I'll be headed up to Green Cay and Wakodahatchee, and would be nice to say hi.
Hey Justin,

Unfortunately I didn't watch this forum during my trip and I missed your invitation. It would have been nice to meet you.

Regards
Jules
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Old Sunday 13th April 2014, 15:44   #31
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I'm back - Wonderful trip

Thank you all for the valuable information. I had a wonderful trip. I'm coming back with 4000 photos and tons of memories. Wx was nice and I only had 5 minutes of rain - 2 very hot and humid days.

I concentrated around Boynton Beach, spending most of my time at Green Cay and Wakodahatchee Wetlands, 4-8 hours per day mainly 7-10 AM and 4-7 PM. Most of the birds I saw were new to me. Many birds were at the nest and there were a lot of babies.

I also visited Loxahatchee but it was very hot and there was not much action there - very few birds. I also drove along the A1A between Pompano and Boynton and stopped at many small parks, but it was mid day and I didn't see many birds.

I went to Key Biscayne one day, visiting Bill Baggs and Crandon Parks. It was extremely hot and humid and the tide was high. Unfortunately, I saw only a few birds, not worth the trip. Maybe it was too early in the season for shore birds ? This made me decide not to spend any time to go down South.

I'm now busy processing the photos and I'll post a few here.

Thanks again for your help
Jules
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Old Thursday 17th April 2014, 23:12   #32
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Jules,

Shorebirds winter at Crandon Park Beach -- they should still be there but are on the cusp of leaving. It's a shame you didn't see much. I had all the South Florida specialties plus 14 species of warbler this past weekend.

Carlos
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Old Friday 18th April 2014, 11:04   #33
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Jules,

Shorebirds winter at Crandon Park Beach -- they should still be there but are on the cusp of leaving. It's a shame you didn't see much. I had all the South Florida specialties plus 14 species of warbler this past weekend.

Carlos
At Bill Baggs, there were no birds to be seen. At Crandon Park, there were Laughing Gulls on the beach and some bird activity in the bush but I was unable to see them.

Conditions were not right for birding: the tide was high, I was there between 11 AM and 1 PM, and it was extremely hot and humid. Also, I am not used to this kind of vegetation cover and I was unable to find the birds I was hearing.

Also, some shore birds have started to arrive here in Quebec, so maybe many were already gone.

One bad day does not make a trip. I'm happy that I concentrated my activity around Boynton Beach, at Greed Cay and Wokadahatchee; waders and ducks are the types of birds I prefer and I was well served there. Finally, I photographed 48 species during my trip, out of which 29 I had never seen before.

I took 4000 photos and I'll post the best ones on my Web site shortly.

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Jules
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Old Wednesday 18th June 2014, 13:04   #34
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Photos available on my Web site

It took me 2 months, on and off, to publish my photos on my Web site. I started with 4000 and ended up presenting 165 photos of 48 different species.

The photos can be seen here:
http://julesgobeil.com/photo/floride/?lang=en

Thanks again to all those who helped me prepare this wonderful trip.

Best regards
Jules
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Old Thursday 19th June 2014, 08:49   #35
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Thanks for the link, Jules! Wonderfull photos you shot!
Good to hear also that you did enjoy your trip.
Ill take off to Florida on sunday (only 3 days to go left, yeah!), staying in Boca.

Regards,
Roman
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Old Thursday 19th June 2014, 12:13   #36
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Thanks for the link, Jules! Wonderfull photos you shot!
Good to hear also that you did enjoy your trip.
Ill take off to Florida on sunday (only 3 days to go left, yeah!), staying in Boca.

Regards,
Roman
Thanks for your comments Roman. Have a good trip and try to stay in the shade !

Regards
Jules
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Old Tuesday 15th July 2014, 14:45   #37
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I'll be visiting Ft Lauderdale in late summer or early fall. Besides the beach, boating, booze, I want to do some birding. What are some good areas for birding? Bonet House? Intercoastal? Any nature preserves in the area?

Thanks
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Old Tuesday 15th July 2014, 16:29   #38
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Hugh Taylor Burch park should be OK in fall as migrants start to come back through - depends on how late into fall you'll be coming. Otherwise, other than the shorebirds to be found at the beach, you might want to go more inland towards the wetlands to get more action in late summer. Also good if there more in the fall would be Evergreen Cemetery off 10th ave, as fall migrators seem to go through that spot a lot. Inland, your best bets might be to head up to Green Cay and Wakodahatchee mentioned here - both about 30-40 minute drives north...and always reliable year-round for dozens of species and guaranteed sightings, many up close. Nature reserves are plentiful, but late summer may not be great at many of them in Broward yet.
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Old Thursday 17th July 2014, 12:16   #39
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I'll be visiting Ft Lauderdale in late summer or early fall. Besides the beach, boating, booze, I want to do some birding. What are some good areas for birding? Bonet House? Intercoastal? Any nature preserves in the area?

Thanks
I cannot really make suggestions because I have not done any birding in FL at this thime of the year. As Justin suggested, Green Cay and Wakodahatchee seem to be good year round. Highly recommended as far as I am concerned.

Have a good trip
Jules
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Old Thursday 17th July 2014, 12:51   #40
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I'll be visiting Ft Lauderdale in late summer or early fall. Besides the beach, boating, booze, I want to do some birding. What are some good areas for birding? Bonet House? Intercoastal? Any nature preserves in the area?

Thanks
I haven't been there in late summer but in Nov. Merritt Island NWR and Canaveral Seashore are great.
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