Great Egret on a Stormy Morning

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Yesterday I posted a Snowy Egret hunting in early morning light and mentioned that early morning or late afternoon light can add drama to an image, in today’s post I will explain a bit more about the dramatic light in the Snowy Egret image and these images of a Great Egret (Ardea alba). Both egrets were photographed on the same morning at Fort De Soto’s north beach.

Usually before going out to photograph birds or other wildlife I go on line to check the weather radar and try to determine whether there will be clouds and if so which direction they are moving. On the morning that I created these Great Egret images and the Snowy Egret I wrote about yesterday I could see on the radar that it was clear to the east of Fort De Soto but there were storm clouds hanging about a mile or two off of the coast line of the Gulf of Mexico that were moving very slowly towards the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. I hesitated because after driving 45 minutes to get to Fort De Soto I was concerned that the clouds would have moved on shore while I was making my way there.

Great Egret in flight with a storm in the background – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 150mm, natural light

The Storm Watcher – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I am very glad that I decided to take the risk of not being able to photograph that morning because of being rained out due to the storm off of the coast that day. When the sun rose at dawn with it clear to the east it lit the birds up beautifully plus it also seemed that the light bounced off of those stormy clouds and back towards me and my subjects giving the images a lovely ambiance.

Great Egret on a stormy morning – Nikon D200, handheld, g7.1, 1/640, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light

The billowing thunder clouds off shore created moody backgrounds for all of the frames of the Great Egret. I could have gotten to Fort De Soto and been rained out that morning but instead I came away with images that thoroughly delighted me! It just goes to show “That you won’t know unless you go”.

Mia McPherson, OntheWingPhotography.com

Mia McPherson

Mia McPherson

Mia McPherson is a nature lover, wildlife watcher and an avian photographer. Mia first become serious about bird photography when she moved to Florida in 2004. Her recent move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and photographing them. With so many birds species there easily accessible it wasn’t long before she was hooked. By learning more about each species, she can anticipate their behaviour and create opportunities to obtain ever better images of those species.

Mia McPherson

Mia McPherson

Mia McPherson is a nature lover, wildlife watcher and an avian photographer. Mia first become serious about bird photography when she moved to Florida in 2004. Her recent move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and photographing them. With so many birds species there easily accessible it wasn’t long before she was hooked. By learning more about each species, she can anticipate their behaviour and create opportunities to obtain ever better images of those species.

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Dermot Mccabe
Dermot Mccabe

Storm Watcher – what a stretch! Very, very nice.