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Night Herons in Flight - Free!

  • Ocean City NJ Welcome Center 300 West 9th Street Ocean City, NJ, 08226 United States (map)

I've wanted to do something like this for a while now and this will be the perfect place to meet up, hang out, talk shop and shoot with me.  Learn how to capture sharp bird-in-flight photos or improve upon your existing bird-in-flight skills.  You will have plenty of practice at the Ocean City, NJ Welcome Center Heron Rookery with both Black and Yellow-crowned Night Herons flying all around you.  The Welcome Center provides an easily accessed and comfortable location to view and photograph hundreds of Night Herons nesting at near eye level.  This time of year there should be young in the nests so the parents will be busy flying in and out to provide food for their young which will provide you with many opportunities to hone your bird-in-flight techniques.  

What to Expect:

  • Hundreds of Black and Yellow-crowned Night Herons will be the main subject but often seen are Glossy Ibis, Snowy and Great Egrets, and occasional passes from Osprey, Little Blue Herons and Tri-colored Herons as well as other shorebirds found in the area.

  • Sunrise is at 5:30am so an early arrival will allow you to get set up for the first rays of sunshine.  If the forecast if overcast skies the start time may be pushed back later.
  • There will also be plenty of opportunity to photograph birds perched and possibly a chance to photograph young in the nest if they happen to be visible.

  • You can park right in the visitors center parking lot which is on the bridge and causeway entering Ocean City, NJ.  We will be photographing from the walkway right next to the parking lot so it is very easy access.  If you are shorter there is a medium height railing that requires shooting over so a small step or stool to stand on can be helpful. 

Preparation:

  • Lenses from 300mm-600mm are recommended
  • A Tripod or Monopod for supporting your lens for a long period of time.  If you are able to hand-hold your setup that will be just fine for this outing.
  • Bring bug spray for the chance there is little or no wind.  Most often there is a breeze which keeps the bugs away so they are usually not an issue. 
  • Bring a step, stool or something to lift you up if you are shorter.

What I will Provide:

  • Tips and suggestions on how best to photograph birds in flight including camera settings, specifically auto-focus settings, and lens holding/panning techniques to achieve great bird-in-flight photographs.
  • Suggestions for lighting and composition based on the weather
  • I will be happy to answer any photography questions you may have
  • There is no rain date for this event so it will only be cancelled for rain.

You can view some photos I have taken of the birds in flight and a few perched shots below. I hope to have you join me watching and photographing these unique herons at this wonderful location.