Kauai Nikon Z9 Photography Wildlife Z9 400MM F2.8 Lens

The Longest Migration and a dragonfly

The world’s longest migration was not on my mind as the day began.

dragonflies on migration in kauai.

My goal was to conduct an early morning photo-shoot a the Kawaiʻele Waterbird Sanctuary a few miles west of my home in Waimea Kauai. 

However, I would learn that an unplanned subject of the photo-shoot would be a record holding migrator. Kauai in general and the Sanctuary in particular is a major stopping off point for migrating birds and aquatic life.

Upon entering the sanctuary, I see many of the principle subjects of previous photo-shoots.  The Hawaiian Stilt and the Hawaiian Goose are present.

A New Visitor and it is on a Migration

There is something different and new going on. A type of dragonfly is buzzing around. I have not seen it previously and do not know its name or origin. The dragonfly is definitely not the Hawaiian [anax stenus] dragonfly – the world’s largest. The Hawaiian dragonfly is colored blue and six inches in length.

It looks like I have a new subject to photograph.

The Globe Skimmer on Migration is in the House

The dragonfly is known as the globe skimmer, globe wanderer, or wondering glider [Pantala flavescens].  The insect has flown from India to Kauai – 7,500+ miles.  The globe skimmer travels up to 11,200 miles in a single migration — arguably the longest of all insect species.

The Plants are in Full Bloom

April is a big blooming month of Kauai.  The blooming of many plants is occurring at the Sanctuary as well.

The Sanctuary is a quiet and unassuming place.  If you enjoy waterbirds it a is wonderful place. 

Previous Post’s and more links

A previous Post about a late afternoon photo-shoot is located [here].

A previous Post about an early morning photo-shoot is located [here].

More information on the Kawaiʻele Waterbird Sanctuary is [here].

—- Jeff’s Thoughts and Other Worthless Trivia —-

The dragonfly by the numbers:

  • Can reach speeds of 35 Miles Per Hour (56 KPH).
  • Wings move at 30 times per second.
  • Can move forward, backward, spin, and hover.
  • One of the first winged insects – 300 million years ago.  Yes, they were around at the time of the dinosaur.

I utilized two cameras and two lenses to capture the images

  • 2 Nikon Z9 Camera
  • Nikon Z 400MM | 560MM f2.8 Prime Lens
  • Nikon Z 70-200MM Zoom Lens coupled with Nikon Z 2.0 Teleconverter

I shot hand-held with manually configured settings combined with Auto Focus for the dragonfly shots

  • Auto Focus
    • Mode: AF-C
    • Area: LS Wide or 3D
    • Subject Detection: Birds
  • ISO: 640 – 1000
  • Shutter Speed: 1/5000s
  • Aperture: f5.6 – f8


2 Replies to “The Longest Migration and a dragonfly

    1. Yes, the distance this dragonfly migrates is remarkable. It was fascinating to watch the dragonfly move forward, backward, spin, and hover. I feel fortunate to have captured each of those movements.

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