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East / West Coast Birding and Wildlife Safari February 17th – 21st, 2020

East / West Coast Birding and Wildlife Safari

February 17th – 21st, 2020

Cost of this workshop $1495 per person

By January and February, most of us are eager to get away from the icy grip of winter. Join me and fellow photographer Adam Jones in sunny south Florida for four intensive days photographing a wide variety of birds, alligators, and elegant landscapes of stately live oaks draped in Spanish Moss.

We are there to lead you and assist with tips and techniques every step of the way as we explore some of our favorite birding locations. Being a former south Florida resident, I know the area well and led this workshop in the same location in 2017 with outstanding results. We photographed: Kingfisher, Limpkin, Caracara, Sandhill Crane, Great Blue Herons fishing & nesting, Green back Heron, Tri Color Heron, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Anhinga, Osprey, Red Shouldered Hawk, Pied Billed Grebe, Little Blue Heron, Glossy Ibis, Scrub Jay, Black Crowned Night Heron, Whistling Ducks Alligator, Rat Snake, and Raccoons. Additionally, the moss covered live oak trees at Circle B Ranch make outstanding landscape subjects located just a few yards from our cars.

Itinerary:

Feb. 176PM: Meet at the Courtyard Marriott in the Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch Area, FL, 8305 Tourist Center Drive, Bradenton, FL 941-360-2626

Bring your cameras with you to the meeting. We will go over and set up best camera settings, discuss techniques, and schedule for the next morning shoot.

Feb.18Early AM departure from our base hotel to the Venice Rookery. Begin shooting at first light continuing throughout the morning. This action packed location, features nesting egrets, Anhingas, and Great Blue Herons on a small island just off shore. The Venice Rookery is a spectacular location for Great Egrets in full breeding plumage, lots of interaction in and around nests including the feeding of young chicks. We commonly capture great flight shots as Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Anhingas are taking off and landing right in front of our lenses. With so many birds nesting so close together, there is territorial squabbling and fighting action to keep it interesting.

Depart Venice Rookery mid-day for lunch at Lashley’s Crab House in Punta Gorda.

Afternoon Photo shoots: Various Burrowing owl locations in Cape Coral and a visit to an active eagle nest.

Feb 19

Sunrise shoot at Circle B Bar Ranch. Beautiful location for foggy vistas of giant live oak trees draped in Spanish Moss.Walk on foot to various locations for birds, lagoons, and lots of alligators.This may be one of the best locations in Florida for great Limpkin photos.The diversity in this wetland is amazing. We photographed osprey fishing, Red shouldered Hawks, huge alligators, snakes, turtles, bobcats, and several varieties of perching birds.

Depart Circle B Ranch mid day for lunch in Lakeland, then driving on to Titusville Hampton Inn.

Afternoon photo shoot at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, followed by dinner at Dixie Crossroads.

Feb 20

Morning shoot: We will return to explore and photograph the amazing concentration of bird life at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This will allow two different opportunities of this wetland environment. With an easy drive through, the refuge is ideal for stopping for interesting, often action packed photos. It’s not uncommon to see Reddish Egrets dancing about with wings spread, as they engage their fanciful fishing tactics. The refuge is also a great location to photograph skimmers as they glide inches above calm lagoons skimming their lower beak in the water. Other species that we have photographed there are the beautiful Roseate Spoonbills, Eagles, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Glossy Ibis, Limpkin, Purple Gallinule, Warblers, Green Herons, Blue Herons, Whistling Ducks, Anhingas, Cormorants, Osprey, and Kingfisher. The diversity at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is amazing. In recent years, the refuge has become one of the must see locations for bird photographers.

Lunch locally, with an afternoon shoot at Cruickshank Wildlife Sanctuary and Viera Wetlands.

Feb 21

Morning photo shoot at the Apopka Bird of Prey Center. We will have the exciting opportunity to photograph a variety of raptors, even some of them in flight.

Lunch locally, then an afternoon shoot at either Apopka Wildlife Drive, or Circle B depending on conditions and activity level at either location.

Late afternoon departure back to Sarasota to the Courtyard Marriot.




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