Blackwater refuge is one of my favorite places. It’s about 100 miles (driving) east of me, and takes almost 2 hours to get there. I first went in 2006, and didn’t make it there for sunrise until my second visit.
Since then, I’ve been there probably more than 100 times. It’s in the top 3 places I’ve been too (with Great Falls and the US National Zoo being the other two).
Here are a few of my favorite images.
Snow geese, double-bird shot.
Great Blue Heron w/ fish
An American Kestrel w/ some food and flying upside down…
A pair of eagles in the morning watching their territory
I have this one printed big on my wall, I love the lush green grass and still water reflecting the clouds above. Taken with Nikon D4.
Finally this flock of Red-Winged Blackbirds was fun to see and shoot from the Wildlife Drive.
Here is my flickr set for Blackwater Refuge. And here’s a blog I made as a landing page for Blackwater refuge.
If you decide to go, you should get there for sunrise, avoid late spring and summer (bugs!!!), and get a Duck Stamp which covers entry fees for a year (~July to July) in all National Wildlife Refuges in the country. You can get these at the refuge, or at a post office.
https://www.friendsofblackwater.org/ has an eagle cam in the winter and an osprey cam in the spring and summer.
My current favorite camera is the Nikon D850, and I primarily use the Nikon 600mm.
If you are on a budget or are looking for a good deal – I recommend you investigate these two:
- Nikon 200-500mm – I don’t own this, but I have heard great things, and it is very affordable. I know a few people who use this regularly and get great results. I may get it to use instead of my 200-400mm and 80-400mm.
- Nikon D500 – this is 20MPs and 10 frames per second. It’s a great high megapixel high frame rate body. I own this and used it regularly for birds and nature – until I got the D850. The D850 is slower and full frame, but for me I am good with going slower and have a larger field of view (FX vs DX).
Here’s a shot with D500 and 600mm…