I was dressed and out the door heading for Venice Rookery shortly after 7 am this morning and on site before 7:45 am. I had packed most of my gear in the back of our Vue last night so there wasn’t much left to do this morning except grab a quick bite before leaving. lThere were maybe a dozen cars already in the lot and cameras on tripods lining the bank in front of the rookery. I had my Canon 1D Mk IV and 500 mm lens with 1.4 X adapter (700mm focal length) sat up on my Gitzo tripod in no time. The morning light brightened up nicely around 8 am and I spent about an hour shooting the pair of great egrets you see above as well as an amusing pair of young great blue herons who have not yet left the nest. I had my Canon 580 EX II flash with an external battery pack and my Better Beamer in my bag but I didn’t bother using them. I shot for about 2.5 hours using my new Lexar 16 GB 600x compact flash card and it performed admirably with no buffering at all. It easily handled any 5-10 shot bursts I threw at it with nary a hint of slowing down. This card will hold about 600-700 exposures which is plenty for my needs.
There was a group of photographers from England who were great company all morning. They were a little startled when I mentioned Bempton Cliffs near Filey in North Yorkshire where Chris & I will again be spending some time in June of this year. What a great birding spot that is! These guys and gals were amazed at the sheer number of birds at Venicce Rookery. I moved around the other side of the pond to try some flight shots and was literally surrounded by birds while sitting on the bank of the pond while the birds flew back and forth in search of branches and twigs for building or shoring up their nests. At one point the great blue herons and sandhill cranes were so close to me I couldn’t focus on them! Simply amazing! I put my camera down for about ten minutes just to take it all in.