Off to a Great Start–There are No Birds at Little Estero Lagoon « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Off to a Great Start--There are No Birds at Little Estero Lagoon

And the Streak Goes On

Despite my ill-advised walk into the somewhat icy shallow waters of Little Estero Lagoon yesterday–see below for details, I am feeling pretty good today. This post marks 61 days in a row with a new educational blog post, a record by far that should be extended for at least another week or two. Or not. 🙂 To show your appreciation, we ask that use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links for all of your B&H and Amazon purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store. We sell only what I use and depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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Thanks and enjoy today’s blog post! This one took only about 2 1/2 hours to assemble,

Less Than a Week Left to Enter! BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition!

With so many folks signing up at the last minute at the end of December and with so many folks having trouble uploading their images due to server overload, the deadline for entering the contest (registering and paying) was extended just before the end of the last year until January 31, 2014. There will be no additional extensions. The deadline for uploading your images has been extended until midnight Eastern time on February 10, 2014. Take advantage of this extension to have a crack at the great prizes.

Learn more and enter the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition here. Twenty-five great prizes including the $1000 Grand Prize and intense competition. Bring your best.

Register and Pay

To register click here.

To learn of payment options, click here.


Hand held 70-200 and 1D X. ISO 5000. Tv mode at 1/60 sec. I will add the complete technical info before lunch today. Please do re-visit.

The Human Condition

I almost wore my Arctic Pro Muck Boots. But at the last moments I wore my surf booties. Having been fighting a vicious head cold for more than a week I knew that nothing could get me to walk into that 50 degree water…. Well, I was wrong. What would make a person do such a thing? I have no clue. Please don’t tell my Mom.


Hand held 300 II and 1D X. ISO 800. Manual mode: 1/800 sec. at f/2.8. I will add the complete technical info before lunch today. Please do re-visit.

Off to a Great Start–There are No Birds at Little Estero Lagoon

Every year before I head down to Fort Myers Beach, I hear the same tune: “There are no birds at Little Estero Lagoon. And once again, the internet experts were seriously wrong. The place has changed drastically from winter storms, but the main complaints as the South Florida IPT began early yesterday morning with 6 Happy Campers, were, “There are too many birds” and “The birds are too close.”


Hand held 300 II with 2X III TC and 1D X. ISO 400. Manual mode: 1/2000 sec. at f/8. I will add the complete technical info before lunch today. Please do re-visit.

Studying and Understanding Bird Behavior

Studying and understanding bird behavior can obviously help you to become a better photographer. Many wading birds will bring their prey to the shore so that if they drop it while attempting to swallow it, the fish or crab can be more easily re-captured. Knowing in advance that that would be exactly what this White Ibis would do enabled me to get in perfect position.


Hand held 300 II with 2X III TC and 1D X. ISO 400. Manual mode: 1/2000 sec. at f/8. I will add the complete technical info before lunch today. Please do re-visit.

Bathing Birds

Many folks in the group did not know that when they see a bird dipping its face and breast into the water that 9 times out of 10 they will raise up and flap their wings after their bath.


Hand held 300 II with 1.4X III TC and 1D X. ISO 400. Manual mode: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6. I will add the complete technical info before lunch today. Please do re-visit.


Both Clemens van der Werf, who was with me in San Diego last week, and I, were amazed that we would have so much fun photographing the much paler Brown Pelicans of Florida after spending 4 days photographing the brightly colored California race of Brown Pelican. But we did. And everyone made some great images of the pellies.


This afternoon seminar is 100% free and open to the public.

Free Afternoon Seminar

Join Denise Ippolito and me on the afternoon of January 28, 2014 at 1:00pm in the Boca Grande Community Center for a free two-part nature photography seminar entitled “Birds and Blooms.” At 1:00pm I will be presenting “A Bird Photographer’s Story” (updated with lots of my favorite new images). Denise will follow with her hugely popular “Bloomin’ Ideas.” The venue is located at 131 First Street West, Boca Grande, FL 33921.


Join us for the free seminar and then for the Venice Rookery IPT the following day. See below for details.


Do join us on the Venice Rookery IPT, or better yet, for the whole South Florida Composite IPT. Scroll down or click here for complete details.

The South Florida Composite IPT

Do consider joining us for one of the remaining parts or all of the South Florida Composite IPT. Call me on my cell at 863-221-2372 or e-mail to learn of the Late Registration Discounts for both the segments and the complete trip. If you call the cell and I do not pick up, please let a message and please be sure to e-mail me a good callback number and time.

Jan 29 (WED): Venice Rookery In-the-Field: all day: (Limit 12/Openings 8): $399. Introductory slide program 7pm, Jan 28.

30 (THURS) -Venice am only. (Limit 12/Openings 7): $249

You can sign up for one or more of the short IPTs and/or one or more of the add-on days or you can opt to sign up for the all the sessions. Those signing up for the whole shebang will be having all lunches and dinners with us most every day. Call us at 863-692-0906 or e-mail to learn of the Late Registration Discounts for both the segments and the complete trip.


Bird Photography Hotspot: Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park. Learn more here.

Anhinga Trail/Everglades National Park Mini-IPT: Feb 1-2, (SAT/SUN), 2014. (Limit 12/Openings 5): $799. Introductory slide program: 7pm: FRI Jan 31. (Limit 12/Openings: 6):

Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris for four great photography sessions at one of the top bird photography hotspots in North America. Morning sessions: 6:15am to 10:30am. Afternoon sessions: 3:00pm till 5:45pm. Lunch included. Informal image review and Photoshop sessions after lunch.

Jan 31 (Friday) Anhinga Trail/Everglades National Park Optional Add-on/Morning Only (Limit 12/Openings 5): $249

Includes lunch, and informal image review and Photoshop session.

Call us at 863-692-0906 or e-mail
to learn of the Late Registration Discounts for both the segments and the complete trip.

Because of our intense travel schedule that includes a trip to Japan I will not be running the traditional SW FLA IPT. In addition, in an effort to give some folks a chance to get a taste of our teaching and our passion for bird photography, Denise Ippolito and I have organized a series of short IPTs that may be combined into one wonderful experience or enjoyed piecemeal. Click here for complete details or to register. Please e-mail with any questions or leave a comment below.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. For the short segments that are less than $500 payment in full is due at the time of registration. Your balance is due 4 months before the date of the IPT and is also non-refundable. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance. Best to call Jim or Jennifer with a credit card in hand to register. Credit cards are not accepted for balances. Alternatively you can send a check for $500 made out to Arthur Morris to us at PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Please include a note with your e-mail address and be sure to let us know what you are signing up for.

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IPT Info

Many of our great trips are filling up. See especially info on the South Florida, Holland, and Nickerson Beach IPTs. Two great leaders on most trips ensure that you will receive individual attention, have all of your questions answered, and learn a ton including how to think like a pro, see the situation, and get the right exposure every time. In addition you will have fun, and make lots of great images. Click here for IPT details and general information.

4 comments to Off to a Great Start–There are No Birds at Little Estero Lagoon

  • avatar Harold Klein

    At Venice Rookery last night and today…Beautiful sunset last night with an insane number of birds flying in to roost!! Today had some sun early then overcast…ya hoo!! Currently on/off light rain since 11am…nothing too serious…it should move out tonight! Couple of egrets are on eggs, herons are actively making nests. Couple pair right up front for great views!! Found your shot windows…I have been paying attention, looking around and assessing the situation, etc…Thanks for all the tutoring!!;)) I will be there tomorrow am early then back to Orlando and the real world! BTW, your well published image of the two herons on the nest graces the local Audubon Field guide to the Rookery!!
    Have a great time…sure it will be awesome!!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Wow, 61 days. Thanks for the tips on bird behavior. You’ve helped teach me that a good bird photographer needs to be a good naturalist as well, either that or extremely lucky. Wonderful images as always. Did you really use ISO 5000 for the heron at sunrise or sunset? By the way, I find that all boots leak, most of them over the tops. So maybe you’d have got your feet wet even in the Muck boots. I think you meant that you and Clement were amazed that you would have so much fun photographing the paler eastern pelicans… (the word “fun” or whatever other word you meant is missing).

  • avatar Harold

    Currently at Venice Rookery….beautiful evening last night with a beautiful sky and an insane number of birds coming in…
    This am some sun then clouds, yahoo!! Several active pair nest building right up front with a couple great windows you have made famous!!
    Currently at 1130 lite rain, most all the action is done for now but a great am… I will come back in a few hours and go e you a report on conditions and activity!!
    Love the pix in the blog today!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      We are in Venice but getting ready for the seminar. There is another cold front coming…. Thanks for the good news. And as always for the kind words. Estero was great. artie