Afternoon Hike at Radnor Lake

I finally had part of the afternoon off from other shoots, so naturally, I decide to go on another shoot! I've been going to Radnor Lake for years now. It's no secret to native Nashvillians that this is one of the premiere birding and wildlife sanctuaries in Tennessee.

Despite living so close to this amazing place, I don't go to this place as often as I should for two main reasons:

1. Too many rules! I understand there is a reason for them, and that the rules are part of what keep this area so beautiful despite the crowds. The problem for me is that I go out in nature to be free and experience nature. You're pretty much confined to just taking the paths. This often makes landscape photography frustrating for me, as I need freedom to search for the right compositions.

2. Parking. If the weather is decent you can almost count on there being a line running down Otter Creek Rd just to find a parking space. It's a lot of extra hassle when the point of the trip is to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Don't get me wrong! There are a few spectacular landscapes to be had there. One of my favorite landscapes of 2016 "Moonrise Over Radnor" was shot here.

 Canon 5D MKIII | 35 f/1.4L II | f/16 | 1.6 sec | ISO 50

Canon 5D MKIII | 35 f/1.4L II | f/16 | 1.6 sec | ISO 50

Where Radnor truly shines is in the watchable wildlife department. It's an absolutely remarkable place if you're into hobbies of the ornithological persuasion. Namely birdwatching and bird photography (birding). Radnor is home to many species, with plenty of migratory birds dropping in throughout the seasons. These shots are mostly from my last trip, with a few other shots from several other recent trips there.

Prothonotary Warbler gathering nesting materials.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/6.3 | 1/125 sec | ISO 1000

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/6.3 | 1/125 sec | ISO 1000

Female Downy Woodpecker

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 390mm | f/6.3 | 1/1250 sec | ISO 1250

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 390mm | f/6.3 | 1/1250 sec | ISO 1250

Tufted Titmouse looking for a meal on a downed tree branch.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/6.3 | 1/160 sec | ISO 1000

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/6.3 | 1/160 sec | ISO 1000

Male Wood Duck with turtles.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/7.1 | 1/1600 sec | ISO 1000

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/7.1 | 1/1600 sec | ISO 1000

A beautiful Palm Warbler singing on a branch near the dam.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/7.1 | 1/640 sec | ISO 1000

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/7.1 | 1/640 sec | ISO 1000

This skink was just hanging out and sunning himself on a log.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 390mm | f/6.3 | 1/640 sec | ISO 640

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 390mm | f/6.3 | 1/640 sec | ISO 640

Quick selfie on the way down the west side of the trail just a few moments before spotting half a dozen deer.

One doe was watching me, while the other decided that licking her face was more important.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/5.6 | 1/80 sec | ISO 1600

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/5.6 | 1/80 sec | ISO 1600

This shot was from a previous trip showing a juvenile hummingbird resting.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/5.6 | 1/500 sec | ISO 1600

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/5.6 | 1/500 sec | ISO 1600

This Tufted Titmouse was extremely tame allowing me to get very close.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/7.1 | 1/160 sec | ISO 1000

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/7.1 | 1/160 sec | ISO 1000

The limited trail access can sometimes force a little extra creativity upon you. While I don't see this shot winning any awards, I still thought it was an unusual way to present this Great Blue Heron in the late afternoon sunlight.

 Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/8 | 1/400 sec | ISO 2000

Canon 7D MKII | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L | 400mm | f/8 | 1/400 sec | ISO 2000

This Wolf Spider sat for a portrait on an old log for me long enough to use a 12mm extension tube to get a nice closeup.

 Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/16 | 1.6 sec | ISO 1600 | 12mm extension tube

Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/16 | 1.6 sec | ISO 1600 | 12mm extension tube

Since it's spring time, I'm also always on the lookout for some great macro opportunities with flowers. These tiny purple flowers were all over a grassy area underneath a thick forest canopy of mature trees.

 Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/18 | 1/8 sec | ISO 100 | 12/20/36mm extension tubes stacked

Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/18 | 1/8 sec | ISO 100 | 12/20/36mm extension tubes stacked

 Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/16 | 1/200 sec | ISO 100 | 12/20/36mm extension tubes stacked

Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/16 | 1/200 sec | ISO 100 | 12/20/36mm extension tubes stacked

Rounding out a great afternoon and early evening of shooting with this final capture of the day. The sky was on fire, and it was time to head home for dinner.

 Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/16 | 20 sec | ISO 50 | B+W 72mm F-PRO ND 1.8-64X MRC | B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer MRC

Canon 5D MKIII | 135 f/2L | f/16 | 20 sec | ISO 50 | B+W 72mm F-PRO ND 1.8-64X MRC | B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer MRC

For more information about local wildlife a great resource is the Tennessee Watchable Wildlife web site.

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