I made a trip to Florida recently, and even though it was a working trip, I was able to get out and do some shooting. We had neighbors up the street – burrowing owls – that we passed every morning and we also made trips to Ding Darling NWR on Sanibel Island and Venice Rookery in Venice, Fl.
Here’s one of the owls. Their home is right on the edge of a residential street in Punta Gorda, Fl. There are three of them and the city installed three perches and they’re almost always on them. They were even sitting on them one day in the midst of a pretty bad storm. I guess they have to stay above ground when it rains though, so they don’t drown in their burrows. This is a protected site in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Even the owner of the property is not allowed to build there or disturb the owls in any way.
This snowy egret at Ding Darling NWR was posing for us for the longest time. I must have shot 30 or 40 shots of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the one pic that my friend got. I just missed it munching on a shrimp. Here’s a link to that pic.
This guy was posing at the Venice Rooker, which is run by the National Audubon Society. It’s a neat little place that consists of a small lake with an island in the middle. There’s also a nice picnic shelter. He hung around a long time too, but he was not nearly as close as the egret.
All in all, my birding experience in southwestern Florida was pretty rewarding. I had a great time. The unfortunate thing was that it was so hot there in August. Yes, I said August, but I’m going back in February. I’m told that the bird populations are teeming at that time of the year and that you can photograph almost anything at that time. Personally, I thought the population was pretty good in August, but I was probably just lucky. Damn sure beats chasing that one lone Great Blue you might find in Cincinnati and then still not getting a decent shot of it for your efforts.
If you want to see the rest of my photos from that trip, there are a few spoonbills and other inflight shots there. Just hit this link.