I rented a 400mm lens from www.lensrentals.com. The goal was to capture as many subjects as possible that couldn’t be shot with a lesser lens or that could be shot more dramatically with a lens of significant focal length.
With one of my sons along, we first headed to the Swan Lake Wildlife Management Area northwest of Nicollet. The predominant wildlife was from the suborder Nematocera, a.k.a. Gnats! If they could have collectively harnessed their flying power, I’m confident they would have carried us off!
In far fewer numbers we encountered two species of Tern making sport of small fish for breakfast.
Numerous ducks were flying in and out of the area but we weren’t willing to risk ticks and other insects by walking through the tall grasses to get closer to the numerous small bodies of water.
We were delighted to spot many very small birds including finches, swallows and warblers.
Next up was Sibley Park. We wanted to see if we could spy the Red-tailed Hawk that is nesting there near the animal barns. We got a good view of it as well as some Blue Jays that dared get near the hawk. No trip to Sibley would be complete without multiple varmint sightings of the Grey Squirrel variety.
One of our old standbys is the Sakatah Trail between County Road 86 and the southern waters of Eagle Lake. I knew we would be able to shoot numerous Red-Winged Blackbirds, Sparrows, Swallows and Geese. If our timing was right we might even spot Pelicans and Herons. I was surprised to get within range of some Dragonflies.
Shooting during the “golden hours” — an hour or so after sunrise and before sunset — provides dramatic lighting, so the multiple trips I made to Sakatah in the morning and the evening paid off.
- Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd at Minneopa State Park