The Rookery @ Gatorland in Orlando, FL

Joined
May 5, 2005
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5,985
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Orlando, Florida
Visited Gatorland today since we finally had some sun. It's a great place to go if you're interested in wildlife and of course gators! I went based on a recommendation of another forum member and specifically went to the Rookery section to compare it to St Augustine. Recently a group of us went to St Augustine and were overwhelmed with what we saw.

I can unequivocally recommend this park if you're the least bit interested in bird photography! I would actually rate it slightly better than St Augustine for a couple of reasons.
1. This rookery area is much larger
2. The birds-in-flight opportunity is far better
3. There are covered decks to shoot from, including a 3-story observation deck
4. It had more varieties of birds than St Augustine, except for Rosies

St Augustine has one slight advantage, though. You can get really close there. You can at Gatorland, too, but there were more opportunities to reach out and touch (figuratively) in St Augustine. IMHO, Gatorland is well suited for birds-in-flight when using between 200-400mm (Gordon, can I borrow your lens? :wink: )

The next Merritt Island get-together, I would highly, highly recommend a visit here. If anyone is planning on visiting Orlando, please feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to join you there.

Here are some photos of the Rookery
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There's a boardwalk that meanders through the Rookery
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You can get pretty close to the birdies here: (though there's a better area farther down)
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And the spectacular 3-story observation tower. It's great because the birds fly low among the bush line, a little higher than the bush-line and higher up above the tree-line. It's the perfect setup. It also comes in handy for the normal afternoon showers.
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Thanks for stopping by....
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
Wow that looks fantastic Kevin...

Sure to be one of our haunts for sure .

thank you so much for showing this....
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
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994
Location
Alabama
Hmmmm....wonder if I can get a few days off in a week or two. :roll:

Looks like another great place to go shoot. Just what I need. :?
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
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8,677
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Alabama
Nice shots...I'll definitely put that on my list of places to check out next year when we pop down to Orlando! Thanks for the heads up....now for the restraint in waiting that long...
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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Orlando, Florida
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Oh, you guys would be in heaven there! Frank, definitely worth taking a day off for a long weekend. You know, the leader should always scout out the places ahead of time before hauling a posse along! ;) Let me know...I'm ready anytime!
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
197
Location
Tallahassee, FL, USA
Kevin

I am very pleased to here the venture to Gatorland was successful. I was concerned that it wasn't going to live up to you expectations.

My first trip there I was like a kid in a candy store. So many things to shoot, didn't know where to start. It was almost overwhelming.

Russ
 
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May 5, 2005
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Orlando, Florida
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Thanks, Russ, for bringing it to my attention. Both my girls and my wife have been there on school field trips but not me. We lived literally 2 miles from there for over 10 years! Oh well, now I know and have been and will go again. Appreciate the heads up! :)
 
G

Gordon Large

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Hey Kevin -

I;m a little far away to drop by for a weekend, but (Frank, are you listening?) let's make sure it's included in Merritt III.

Gordon

ps. About my 200-400, what hourly rate did you have in mind? 8) Just kidding. I would be happy to let you or anyone else play with it for a while, as long as you stay in sight at all times!
 

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