We are heading to a Tiffin rally in Sarasota later this week so I used this morning for one last trip to Venice Rookery. What I thought was going to turn into only a so so day with rain in this morning’s forecast, actually turned out to be a gorgeous day with no rain at all. Bright blue skies with some nice puffy clouds over the rookery and a slight breeze kept temps around the pond at a reasonable level all morning. I got to the rookery just before 8 am and wrapped up my final visit about 10:30 am this morning. I set up at the 9 o’clock position or to the left of the pond trying to get some shots of a pair of new born great blue heron chicks but they were buried pretty far down in the nest and didn’t have the strength or coordination to pop their heads up far enough for a good photograph. I spent the rest of my time at the 5 o’clock position and focused mainly on in flight shots for the rest of the morning. I managed to get some stunning in flight shots of both great egrets and great blue herons. The anhingas were another story though. Anhingas are much smaller and, for me anyway, that translated into more difficulties trying to pan smoothly and still keep the anhinga in the viewfinder. I’m still looking at those shots in Lightroom.
I used my 500mm with 1.4x extender handheld to grab today’s first shot from about 30 feet. The lighting was perfect and the dark blue water behind this great egret made for a great background. Nest Building was taken using my tripod as this great egret flew back to it’s nest with some more construction material. I caught this one just before the egret landed on the bushes by it’s nest. I’ve saved my favorite shot from this morning for last in today’s post. It took a bit of trial and error and waiting patiently to get the in flight shot of a great egret that I was hoping for. I watched this egret fly back and forth from it’s nest for about 30 minutes and managed to get a pretty idea of what it’s flight path would be before being able to successfully depress my shutter for this great shot.
Spending time in the Venice area has been wonderful and if you’ve never seen a bird rookery up close, Venice Rookery is definitely the place to go. It’s easy to find, just behind the Florida Highway Patrol office on US 41. Just park the car and walk 50 yds to the edge of the pond. Doesn’t get any easier that that. Enjoy the photos and feel free to leave a comment if you like.