Every year at this time, the rookery at Lake Martin is filled with nesting Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, and Little Blue Herons. Last week Donnette and I visited Lake Martin to check out this year’s population. The photo above shows a few of the hundreds of nests occupied by birds.
To get an idea of the size of the rookery, click on this link for a panoramic view of the portion of the rookery visible from our vantage point: Panorama. Although not very clear in detail, this image shows the approximately 90-degree view of the rookery from our location on Rookery Road. Nests are visible as far as one can see into the dense trees. The pink shapes barely visible in the background of the left center of the panorama are Roseate Spoonbills nesting over 300 feet away from the camera.
The most visible nesting birds were the Great Egrets. In the photo below, a pair seems to be exchanging greetings as one partner has just flown in. They subsequently settled together in the nest.
Here is another Great Egret spending a large amount of time in a cypress tree looking for just the right twig needed for its nest. It eventually flow off with its treasure.
As mentioned above, Roseate Spoonbills’ nests were the farthest from our vantage point. This was about the best shot I could get of a nesting pair.
Little Blue Herons nested closer to us but in dense brush that reduced their visibility.
Here, a Little Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret are apparently in a border dispute, while a nearby Blue Heron seems indifferent to the confrontation.
In addition to nesting, some birds were occasionally flying. Two “birds in flight” photos are shown below.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.