anyway, huh? We started our vacation by landing in Miami during a tropical storm and driving to Naples in same. All we knew was that we hadn't seen lightning like this in a long time. So, we plan for our next day when we are driving to Port Charlotte to visit a friend of Nancy's to stop by Sanibel Island. Figured we would spend an hour or so, and about 5 hours later we called Nancy's friend to say we were running late. As we started to cross the causeway we were greated by a flock of Frigate Birds and Pelicans hovering above the causeway. No camera handy, and nowhere to stop, so you just have to trust me. But then, we saw this fellow on the shore and had to stop. It should be noted that these are all mid-day, not the best light, rather harsh and I am post-processing on a non-calibrated laptop. I have a lot of work to do when we get home :lol: . Great Egret, full frame: Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) Great Egret, head shot, slight crop: Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) Wow, I couldn't get this close to a caged bird in Washington :lol: , and we aren't even close to Ding Darling yet. We arrive at Ding Darling and as we start the drive we are greeted by a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. It flew over our car and landing on the road in front of us. I couldn't get set quickly enough for any "standing" shots, the only one I got was this "take-off". Yellow Crowned Night Heron, full-frame: Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) So, we move along, seeing more Egrets and cormorants and having a great time in the sun looking for 'Gators. And then, what I went to Florida looking for flies by, and Osprey. A few folks, such as Harris, have guaranteed I could get flight shots of Osprey in Florida, and here we have one from day one. Osprey, in flight. Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) Unfortunately for me, as you can see from the caption, I did NOT take this photo, my wife the "non-photographer" did. Man, I am STILL annoyed . So, here I am, with an "ok" shot of my own, but not what I want, and she shows me this. However, as you will see from further posts, this was the beginning of the "unleashing of a monster....". Now we "move on down the road" and find a Snowy Egret close by. The first shot is from Nancy, she is starting to get the hang of things now and no longer is asking "Why do you take more than one shot of something????" :lol: . This first shot is cropped, she forget to use the zoom she was having so much fun. You can see the effect of the harsh light on the back of these birds. Snowy Egret - Nancy: Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) Snowy Egret, Full Frame, head shot: Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) Finished off by finding some Pileated Woodpeckers, here is one shot that is a deep crop as they are small birds at quite a distance. This is the perfect example of why the 500mm lens is so useful, 300mm plus 1.4 still doesn't get enough reach. Pileated Woodpecker: Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) So, to answer my own question in the subject line, the big deal is that even at the wrong time of year, the wrong time of day, there is still plenty of activity. And boy do I love shooting in the sunlight. I have been told that since the hurricanes last year Ding Darling is nothing like it used to be. Well, from two "out-of-towners" I can say the it is still quite a great place to go, and I can still hear my wife muttering about the shot she didn't get :lol: , I'm really in trouble now, as you will see in further posts of our vacation chronicle, and our grand time in Florida.