David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Tag Archives: Smith Oaks Rookery

Twins

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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Unexpected

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

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

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Three Point Landing

The twig must have looked a lot larger as the spoonbill was coming in for a landing.  Getting closer it must have realized the perch wasn’t going to work and made a last second adjustment to miss the twig.  Unfortunately within a second the twig was pushed down with one leg and then released.  It snapped back giving the spoonbill a quick pop on the belly.  Not all landings go as planned.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/7.1, 1/3200’s, ISO 200, manual exposure

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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

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Skip To My Lou

Growing up I remember singing childhood songsWatching the spoonbills fly into their nest reminded me of one of these special songs.  As they come in low and through the bushes they work their legs as if they are singing “Skip To My Lou”.

Nikon D4, 500mm, 1/3200’s, f/6.3, ISO 200, Ev -2.0

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Balancing Act

Sometimes I just have to smile at them.  More often than not they tend to pick out some of the most flimsy branches to land on.  It makes for a good photo op as they constantly flap their wings trying to stay in one spot.  A real balancing act.

Nikon D4, 500mm, 1/3200’s, f/7.1, ISO 200, manual exposure

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