I decided to make another visit to Gatorland as I was on vacation this week. This time I went late in the day to take advantage of the setting sun. At this time of the day many birds are coming back to the rookery to roost for the night after spending the day out feeding in the surrounding areas. From the boardwalk that borders the west side of the long pond you turn and…
face the east side of the pond. With the setting sun at your back the light is great for catching those flying birds as they come in to roost or move from tree to tree. I have not attempted getting images of flying birds much before as it is not the easiest think to do but with practice it gets easier. The trick at Gatorland is to use the boardwalk and long pond to your advantage. I watched for birds flying the length of the pond, locked in on them when they were too far away and then tracked them as they got closer. I started hitting the shutter repeatedly until the bird either landed or flew out of range. I used a high shutter speed and continuous AF to try to stop the motion and get the bird in focus. Be ready to take a lot of images and only a few will be what you are looking for. Those pixels don’t cost anything, so go for it!
There were a number of other photographers there and some were using a tripod, as I was, and some were not. The tripod is a bit constricting when following flying birds even with an Wemberly head but, at least for me, I feel like I am steadier and it is sure less tiring than holding that camera & lens the whole time.
I once again used my Nikon D200 with the 80-20mm f2.8 lens with the 2X teleconverter.
Here is one last non-flying image that was just too funny! It’s a Cattle Egret in full breeding colors showing his stuff!
If you get a chance to visit Gatorland be sure to go to the rookery in the back and see all the birds and the chicks that are hatching daily!
That’s all for now!
Turn that camera on!