David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Tag Archives: High Island


I visited the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island early February of this year but never had a chance to get back.  I missed out on seeing a lot of the babies as they grew and vide for attention.  Well, this past weekend I had a chance to make a quick run out there.  With the front entrance gate now locked I had to enter from a side entrance.  It was hot as in Hot as I made my way on a long walk.  As I walked up on the levy it wasn’t the usual chatter of birds.  Most had all ready raised their young and were gone.  I made my way along the levy stopping at different locations to grab a few pictures.  Even though it was hot it was still pretty nice being all alone with all the remaining birds as all the usual crowds were now gone.  Even with fewer nesting birds it still offered a number of opportunities.  These twin Roseate Spoonbills had just been feed as their parent had flown off.  The parents quickly feed the young and then fly off.  They wouldn’t hang around because the young ones wouldn’t give them any piece just a constant picking, nudging wanting more.  Probably within a few days these will have to leave the nest for the lesson in finding food.  Sooner or later everyone grows up.  Or, that’s the way it’s suppose to be.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/4, 1/8000, ISO 400  (made adjustment afterwards to bring the shutter down)

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone an enjoyable day!


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All Mine

Sometimes you’re just too close or you chop off some toes.  Before I delete any pic I try to look at it several times just in case I see something different.  Just a few nip and tucks.  Hope you like it.

Nikon D4, 500mm, 1/3200s, f/5.6, ISO 200

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Neotropic Cormorant

Neotropic Cormorant – High Island, Texas.  Not one of the most photographed birds but I still think with the right amount of light you can get a few good captures.  This years season at Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island has arrived early.  The birds are in full swing staking out their nesting site.  Early on there are a lot of opportunities to catch in flight shots as they bring in nesting material.  We have had a few cool days but for the most part I’d say so far winter has passed us by.
Nikon D4, 500mm, f/5.6, 1/3200s, ISO 200

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Nikon D4, 500mm, f/5.6, 1/3200s, ISO 200

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This one caught me off guard. I didn’t like what I seeing but after all it’s nature right?  I saw the male egret coming in low and fast. He pulled up and into the nest mounting the female almost before you could blink.  She started squawking loudly but wasn’t able to get up.  Her mate must have been close by as he flew in to make an attempt to rescue her.  He tried but it was difficult.  He jumped on top of the other male clawing at times.  I just wanted him to take his powerful beak and stab him in the back.  After a short period the intruder left.  A little while later another similar incident happen at another nest but this time with a different outcome.  Wondering if it was the same intruder because he got more of what he deserved.
Nikon D4, 500mm, f/5.6, 1/6400, ISO 200
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Early Mornings

Here are a couple of reasons I like early mornings.  Taken at Smith Oaks Rookery, High Island, Texas.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/4.0, 1/200, ISO 1250


Nikon D4, 500mm, f/8.0, 1/800, ISO 1000


Every Little Bit Helps

I don’t suppose it’s easy getting out there every day during nest building season and finding the best branches.  This Great White Egret may not have brought home the bacon but every little bit helps.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/7.1, 1/3200’s, Ev -0.67, ISO 200


Fading Light

Made a quick trip to High Island Smith Oaks Rookery last Thursday evening.  Just the way I like it with only a few people taking pictures.  With the sun fading behind the tree line most had already left for the day.  There was only one other photographer (Barbara) that was willing to wait it out and catch the last light.  It was pretty neat as the BIF’s activity picked up greatly.  They were coming from all directions to settle for the night.  I was never short of a subject and able to try many different camera settings.  Love to learn.

Nikon D4, 500mm, 1/8000, f/4, ISO 1000, spot metering


Looking Back

Recently made my first trip to High Island Smith Oaks Rookery.  The weatherman and my phone app had a beautiful morning in the making and I wanted to get there early to catch some backlighting captures.  I arrived early enough to take a short nap.  As I looked up toward the sky I could see the stars and thought – Oh Yeah.

Forgot my small flashlight so out comes the iPhone to help guide me.  The trail is so dark you couldn’t see with out some type of light.  Made my way to the platform I wanted to shoot from and set up.  Hmmm, I asked myself where is the light.  I looked up from under the covered platform and there was a thick cloud cover.  Whoa, but the weatherman said….  About an hour after sunrise and still fairly dark I decided to leave.  This capture of a Snowy reminded me of what perhaps we both were looking for…The Sun.

Nikon D4, 500mm, 1/125’s, f/5.6, ISO 640


Great Egret – One Small Step

Taken during nesting at High Island Rookery in Texas.  You can capture some good wing action during mating.  However, I’m always smiling on the dismounts.  At times he seems confused as he slowly tries to find good footing.  Or perhaps he is just tired and dizzy.  Either way I’m just waiting for one to fall off so to speak.

Nikon D4, 500mm, 1/1600’s, Ev -1.33, ISO 320