Friday, April 2, 2010

Birds In Flight

St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Having just returned last week from a trip around Florida photographing birds, I was still in the mood to do a little more.   So on Tuesday I drove down to the rookery at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and was a little surprised to see so many birds already nesting in the trees above the swamp.   I had heard there were a good number of birds, but never expected this many so early in the season.  

Needless to say, this made a good opportunity to photograph some birds in flight.  The wind direction was not ideal, but I still got some decent opportunities.   There were tons of great egrets, and also lots of wood storks and snowy egrets. 

I also saw about 20 spoonbills roosting, and occasionally they would fly around.  But usually they did not fly far and would land again close to whee they had been, offering little chance of flight photographs.   I only had one or two chances to photograph the spoonies in flight, and I didn't really get anything too good.   The image above is one of them. [click any image to enlarge]

The next five images are great egrets.  It's fun to photograph these guys as they go out to retrieve sticks and then return to add them to the nest.

Below is one of the few wood storks I photographed that day.  There were lots more great egrets in the sky than anything else. 

And finally, it was interesting to see this great egret below attempt to fly with this large a tree branch.  He flew a good distance with the branch, but dropped it just as he got to the nest.

The rookery is really cranking up now and there are lots of birds.  In addition to what I've already mentioned, there were also some tricolor herons and a few cattle egrets, and night herons. 

The newly built boardwalk is much nicer than the old one.  It is far more stable, and it extends a little closer to the back fence.  It does not vibrate when folks walk past pushing baby strollers, as it always did in the past.

I figure I'll be making a few more trips to the rookery as the other species of birds start nesting.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tim,
    These are fantastic shots! I love the spoonbill a lot but the great egret is also very beautiful... you already have some nice sun... it is now snowing over here again!