Saturday, April 23, 2011

Florida Part Four - Saturday Afternoon

Saturday afternoon we drove down to Venice Florida to visit the Venice Rookery. The rookery is a top destination for both birders and wildlife photographers because of the nesting birds that are present from January through April. The rookery is located on an island in a small lake and is in a few shorts blocks of busy stores and is also located amidst a densely populated area. The rookery is managed by Venice Area Audubon Society. The best time to photograph the birds is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. There used to be a large stand of trees behind the island on the far shore which gave a great background for morning photography, but, that stand of trees has been cut down. However, while I was there I noticed that they were starting to replant trees on the backside where the other trees were removed. My feeling is that the trees that were removed were invasive species and they are going to replant the area with native species. Since we were there in the afternoon the area where the trees were cut down gave us better and cleaner views of the island. Although we were at the latter part of the breeding season there was still a number of birds present. We were able to photograph Great Blue Heron, Great and Snowy Egrets, Double-crested Comerants, Anhingas, Black-crested Night-heron and other species.

Great Blue Heron

 Anhinga chick

anhinga drying its wings

great blue heron chicks

great blue heron and chick

great egret

Osprey being harassed by a red-winged blackbird

"feed me"  anhinga family

anhinga with fish

cattle egret

great blue heron

Black-crowned Night-heron

snowy egret

grade egret

great blue herons

If you enjoyed the photographs and are visiting the West Coast of Florida from Tampa downward I would recommend a visit to the Venice Rookery.
Directions to the VAAS Rookery
From the North, take US 41 (Tamiami Trail) south 1/2 mile past Rt. 776. Turn right onto Annex Road at the Anderson Sarasota County Administration/Court House building. Follow Annex Road to rookery on right.
From the South, take US 41 (Tamiami Trail) north past Jacaranda Blvd. (Wal-Mart on south corner) Make left turn onto Annex Road just past FL State Police Barracks. Follow Annex Road to rookery on right.