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06-17-2009, 01:40 PM   #16
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A few different colonies of Nile Monitor lizard (like komodo dragons but only 7 feet long instead of 10 ) have established themselves in the everglades areas of florida, presumably the descendents of escaped/abandoned pets. Burmese Pythons too. All good stuff.

06-19-2009, 04:28 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
A few different colonies of Nile Monitor lizard (like komodo dragons but only 7 feet long instead of 10 ) have established themselves in the everglades areas of florida, presumably the descendents of escaped/abandoned pets. Burmese Pythons too. All good stuff.
I would need a 1200mm lens at the very least just to feel comfortable. Me and seven foot long lizards just don't mix. They're cool looking though.
06-19-2009, 05:27 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHfwp Quote
I would need a 1200mm lens at the very least just to feel comfortable. Me and seven foot long lizards just don't mix. They're cool looking though.
I use my 105mm and 55-300mm all the time on gators. I use the 105mm on snakes etc.
06-19-2009, 06:10 PM   #19
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I would suggest:

Go to a "margin area" - that is, where water and land meet. Lakes, ponds, streams attract critters large and small.

Go at dawn/dusk - many animals are much more active at these times. Light can be good, too.

06-19-2009, 09:04 PM   #20
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I have heard from folks "down east" (that's Eastern NC for the uninitiated) that the flocks of snow geese and other waterfowl in the Pocosin Lake refuge are amazing. I forget when the ideal time it; perhaps in the Fall. You can look it up. Wish I could get down there.

If I were you, I'd check with the Nature Conservancy, particularly your local land conservancy, for advice about where to go to find what. I'd also check with your local Sierra Club for the same info. When I led some Sierra Club hikes in the Triangle years ago, I'd bring folks to "hidden" natural places within cities, and there was often plenty of wildlife, from birds, fish, snakes, turtles, to rabbits, raccoons, and deer. Heard of plenty of sightings of wild turkeys too. Lesson: you don't need to go far away to find animals. Within a few hundred yards of my house now, I and my daughter have seen or encountered raccoons, beaver, fish, snakes, turtles, woodchucks, deer, birds (including hawks and owls), rabbits, mice, voles, snails, dragonflies, butterflies, luna moths, and I'm probably forgetting some. True, no bears, elk, wolves or coyotes, but still quite a bit.

Ten to one, there are some websites about wildlife in NC that will indicate what to find and where, as well as specialized sites about particular kinds of animals such as snakes of NC.
06-20-2009, 05:36 PM   #21
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In southwest Virginia there is a drive-thru Safari Park. I went a couple months ago and it was great.

Three important things:
  1. You cannot get out of your car.
  2. Feeding the critters is a must.
  3. If the thought of getting a scratch (or elk snot when they sneeze on you) on your car sends you into convulsions -- don't go.

Make sure whatever lens you have on your camera it goes wide -- if you feed them (and even if you don't) their faces will be inside your car.

Virginia Safari Park: Not Your Ordinary Day Trip!
06-21-2009, 07:14 PM   #22
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you could always join the group of us next weekend at the Blackwater preserve in Maryland (eastern shore). See the threads in the general topics forum, events and gatherings subforum.
07-03-2009, 08:43 AM   #23
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National Wildlife Refuges are great in general... particularly the places where birders like to go. A suggestion: if interested in bird photography, seek out your local bird club to see where they go on their field trips. While birders are not always photographers, they places they go are often photogenic.

Great locations not far from NC are Chincoteague NWR, Bombay Hook NWR (Delaware), and tons of little parks and refuges along the NC coast (plus Great Dismal if you do not mind canoeing a bit!). Your local bird club will list many more places, check out their web site! Good luck...

07-05-2009, 06:22 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
I would suggest:

Go to a "margin area" - that is, where water and land meet. Lakes, ponds, streams attract critters large and small.

Go at dawn/dusk - many animals are much more active at these times. Light can be good, too.
All excellent advice. Some animals are less likely to bolt and run off at these times from what I've found.

Thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
I have heard from folks "down east" (that's Eastern NC for the uninitiated) that the flocks of snow geese and other waterfowl in the Pocosin Lake refuge are amazing. I forget when the ideal time it; perhaps in the Fall. You can look it up. Wish I could get down there.

If I were you, I'd check with the Nature Conservancy, particularly your local land conservancy, for advice about where to go to find what. I'd also check with your local Sierra Club for the same info. When I led some Sierra Club hikes in the Triangle years ago, I'd bring folks to "hidden" natural places within cities, and there was often plenty of wildlife, from birds, fish, snakes, turtles, to rabbits, raccoons, and deer. Heard of plenty of sightings of wild turkeys too. Lesson: you don't need to go far away to find animals. Within a few hundred yards of my house now, I and my daughter have seen or encountered raccoons, beaver, fish, snakes, turtles, woodchucks, deer, birds (including hawks and owls), rabbits, mice, voles, snails, dragonflies, butterflies, luna moths, and I'm probably forgetting some. True, no bears, elk, wolves or coyotes, but still quite a bit.

Ten to one, there are some websites about wildlife in NC that will indicate what to find and where, as well as specialized sites about particular kinds of animals such as snakes of NC.
I'm not much of a "birder", but I can handle flocks. That sounds appealing.

I've got the NC chapter of the Sierra Club running in the background now and look forward to checking out their site and doing a little more research.

Thank you for your advice!

QuoteOriginally posted by photocat Quote
In southwest Virginia there is a drive-thru Safari Park. I went a couple months ago and it was great.
I checked that out and it looks great. We've got a place not far from here, the Lazy 5 Ranch, that sounds similiar. I rode a horse drawn wagon back in and it was quite the experience. Insane really (no way will I be driving my own vehicle back in there). So many hungry animals...

They've got a great petting zoo area that I've returned to a few times. If I'm in the area, I will definitely check that out. Thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
you could always join the group of us next weekend at the Blackwater preserve in Maryland (eastern shore). See the threads in the general topics forum, events and gatherings subforum.
I forget there's more than "General Talk" in that section. I looked at some of your photos and it looks like it was a productive trip. Maybe next time...

Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by MDScienceTeacher Quote
National Wildlife Refuges are great in general... particularly the places where birders like to go. A suggestion: if interested in bird photography, seek out your local bird club to see where they go on their field trips. While birders are not always photographers, they places they go are often photogenic.

Great locations not far from NC are Chincoteague NWR, Bombay Hook NWR (Delaware), and tons of little parks and refuges along the NC coast (plus Great Dismal if you do not mind canoeing a bit!). Your local bird club will list many more places, check out their web site! Good luck...
I will check out their websites. All of them sound interesting. I'm thinking about heading to Chincoteague in early January for a day or two to check it out. Hopefully that's not a terrible time to go as I'm really looking forward to it.

Thank you! And thank you all once again

Last edited by JHfwp; 07-05-2009 at 06:31 PM.
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