I met a new-to-me photographer at the rookery the other day. Stuart, who doesn’t put his photos on Facebook but does have them in a gallery in Dunedin. When I saw him standing on his ladder with his lens trained on the birds I got excited that maybe some chicks had begun to hatch, but no such luck. He pointed out the same egret nest with eggs, and now I realize it’s not just me, neither of us saw any other eggs present. He was interesting to talk to, and said that he saw a spoonbill at this rookery the other day. It may just have been passing through since it didn’t stop for pictures, but now I”ll be on the lookout for them just in case. I asked if he’d seen the alligator there and he had, two of them he said. They’ll be around once there are chicks present, he said, circling below in case someone falls out of the nest. Real life is definitely not a Disney movie.
Stuart’s specialty is birds in flight, which is really tough most of the time. And he doesn’t like wood storks, which made me laugh because that is the majority of the birds at this rookery. He mostly likes the Great Blue Herons so I told him he needs to take a trip to the Venice rookery to see them nesting in large numbers. It’s fun to exchange information with another photographer who spends most of his days out taking pictures. Even if only because it makes you feel less like an odd ball.