2011 Venice Rookery Part I – Egrets

After a conference in Orlando this week, I decided to drop in on the Rookery in Venice FL again. It was great last year and my expectations were high. The day got off to a rough start. First, when I arrived at a little before 7:00 (pre-dawn), the park entrance was closed off by a patrol car with lights flashing.

After a couple of questions of the officer, combined with the information from other folks waiting in the parking lot to get it, the story unfolded. It turns out that at about 6:30AM three men robbed the local CVS store (two blocks away) with guns and took off in a stolen car. They drove into the rookery, ditched the car (the police were now on their tail) and ran off into the woods behind the park.

When I arrived at about 7:00 there were ten officers in the woods looking for the two men that had not yet been apprehended. There was a forensics van going over the stolen car with a fine tooth comb.

At about 8:00 the police packed up and left. I am not sure if they got the other two or not. Needless to say, the 10 folks that were waiting in the parking lot for the park to open, were looking over their shoulders all morning.

The second issue was that it was overcast until 9:00. And finally, someone, for some reason (lame it seems), cut down all of the trees on the other side of the pond that holds the rookery. Unfortunately, it exposed the local trailer park. Here is what it looked like last year.Great backdrops for birds in flight. NOT. The locals don’t seem to have made up their minds and are just fence sitters.

Once the day got going. It was great. This post will be all Egrets, with others coming in subsequent posts.

This year there were a couple of times the egrets got very close. I did very minimal cropping on these two images. I love how much detail there is when they get that close. They were foraging for branches for their nests.

I think that I am getting better at tracking the Egrets in flight. I caught a number that I really like, here are a few.

Finally, whether perched on a log or showing off their plumage, they are beautiful birds.


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