Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Snowy Egret

One of my favorite birds to photograph, although one of the most difficult to photograph in flight, is the snowy egret.   The snowy egret seems to fly in a much more erratic manner than other types of egrets, and I find that I have more throwaway photos of this species than any other when attempting flight shots.   Because they almost always change direction abruptly in flight, often just prior to landing, it's often difficult to get sharp photos of them in flight.  The images posted here are a few that I am happy with.

These images were captured at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge while on a cross Florida photo trip with my friend Ken Conger.

While following observing several snowy egrets landing in a pond and fishing I was fortunate to capture a few images below showing the bird with it's catch.

I am using some past material in this post because I have been under the weather the last month or so and unable to get out and obtain any new images.  After over a month of sickness and a 15 day hosptial stay, I am back on the  mend and undergoing chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with a type of non-hodgkins lymphoma on April 21.  I had mixed feelings about posting this publicly, but I figured most of my friends know the situation, and I wanted the folks whose blogs I used to comment on to understand part of the reason I seem to have vanished from the scene lately.  The good news is this type of cancer is treatable and the prognosis is good for a full recovery.
I am finding that the side effects of the chemotherapy are the worst the first few days after treatment, and then I bounce back to my normal self and actually feel pretty good after that.  I am learning how to deal with it one day at a time and I am planning to have as normal a life as possible along this new journey.   I actually traveled to Cape Kennedy 12 hours after being discharged from the hospital in hopes of photographing the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour , sts-134. I was taking medicine to deal with the side effects of the chemotherapy I had just had slightly over a day before.  I owe a special thanks to my friend Terry Seaney, for graciously offering to drive me from St. Augustine down to Cape Kennedy, and then back home after the launch was srubbed.  I still plan to photograph the launch as long as the revised launch schedule does not conflict with my treatment. 
My oncologist advised me against making the trip, but my regular doctor gave me his blessing based on certain precautions I was able to take.  
If you see images of the space shuttle launch in my next post, you will know I was able to pull it off.


  1. Tim, may be difficult, but you did an amazing job at capturing these beauties!

  2. Wishing you the quickest of full recoveries, Tim. A trip to Merritt Island offered observation of many dozens of Snowy Egret with flight behavior exactly as you've described. Fortunately, again, the egret does not always behave this way allowing for the occasional keeper down here. The dance of the Snowy Egret at Ding Darling NWR is quite remarkable to observe as well as you certainly know. Good luck capturing STS-134.

  3. Tim, glad to see are making good progress. I am on the road and will arrive in Yellowstone this afternoon. It has been a long 2500 miles.

  4. Yeh I guess they are difficult with this white coat... As soon as there is sun that might be difficult, but as Mary said, you did it great and the flight shots are wonderfuL!

  5. Great images as usual Tim and offering my best wishes for a full and speedy recovery and I look forward to future quality photographs.