DIANA'S BLOG




Sunset on Turner Beach, Captiva Island, Florida

I had some friends visiting from New York City and they wanted to see a nice Florida beach sunset. We drove up to Sanibel Island, walked around Bailey Tract, then drove through the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see some white pelicans. After that we drove over to Turner Beach on Captiva Island. The beach has lots of shells and perfect white sand. On this particular evening we were also treated to a large group of diving brown pelicans and black skimmers. It was great fun photographing the birds against the setting sun. We got very lucky with sunset color and afterglow.


Brown pelican diving for fish at sunset on Turner Beach, Captiva Island, Florida


Brown pelican in flight at sunset at Turner Beach, Captiva Island, Florida


Brown pelicans fishing at sunset at Turner Beach, Captiva Island, Florida


Seashells on beach

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Venice Rookery Update

I’ve spent the past two and half months going up to the Venice Rookery fairly regularly to check on the great blue heron chicks, anhinga chicks and now great egret chicks. It’s been amazing to be in Florida during nesting season. I have learned so much watching the birds build nests together, put on courting displays, feed their young and fly in and out of the Rookery. I’ve also met some other amazing photographers who have shared their previous nesting season experiences with me. I now have a much better appreciation of the activity taking place as I photograph the birds in action. Here is a series of photographs from my time at the Rookery.

We start with a recent sunset as we watched all the birds fly in a night and take their places on the island.


Sunset at the Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) couple at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) gathering material for nest at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Two-month old Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) in flight at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) in flight with nesting material, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight at sunrise, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) displaying breeding plumage at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Male Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) in breeding colors being blown over by the strong winds at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


An elegant courtship. Great egret (Ardea alba) couple cuddling at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) in flight at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


A delicate balance. A Great egret (Ardea alba) in breeding plumage balancing on a branch at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) in the reeds at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) in an invasive species Brazilian pepper tree at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) on nest at Venice Rookery, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight with stick for nest at sunrise at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight at sunrise at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) ‘walking on water’ at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) in flight at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Green heron (Butorides virescens) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) couple building their nest at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Snowy egret (Egretta thula) with breeding plumage at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) couple after finishing mating at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Juvenile Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) couple on their nest, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) couple building their nest at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) couple adding a stick to their nest, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor) at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight with breeding plumage at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Dinner for two Great Blue Heron chicks, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in breeding plumage at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Six week old Great Blue Heron chicks, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in breeding plumage at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Seven-week-old Great Blue Heron chicks, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Snake, it’s what’s for dinner for two Great Blue Heron chicks, Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) with four week old chicks at Venice Audubon Rookery, Venice, Florida


Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) with two week old chicks at Venice Audubon Rookery, Venice, Florida

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Supermoon blue blood moon with partial lunar eclipse

I got up at 4:00 a.m. and drove up to Venice to photograph the rare Supermoon blue blood moon with partial lunar eclipse. This was the first time in over 150 years that this particular type of eclipse has happened in the United States. I didn’t want to miss a chance to capture it. I scouted several locations on the days before the event and decided to try to shoot the moon with the Venice Fishing Pier in the foreground. When I arrived in the parking lot it was still dark but the moon was visible. I set up my tripods and cameras on the beach on the south side of the fishing pier. In a few minutes I was joined by two other photographers who had had the same idea about framing the moon against the pier. We chatted about nesting birds and photography gear until the moon got low enough in the sky to be interesting. Then we all got very quiet as we bracketed our shots and watched the partial lunar eclipse. It was very exciting to see the red color come over the moon as it got closer to the horizon. Daybreak started to cast some interesting light on the pier and I think we all got some nice shots. This one was taken with my Nikon D850 at 1/80s, f/8, ISO 64 using my Nikkor 500mm lens.


Fisherman on Venice Pier taking a photograph of this morning’s Supermoon blue blood moon with partial lunar eclipse, Venice, Florida #NikonD850


Supermoon blue blood moon with partial lunar eclipse over the Venice Pier, Venice, Florida

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