Easter Sunrise at Orlando Wetlands

Posted Leave a comment

On Easter Sunday I headed to Orlando Wetlands for sunrise and some time with God’s creatures. It was an amazing morning to be out on a bike with a camera!

I got there before sunrise and biked along to scope out a good spot for my sunrise photo. As I went along, I came across this adorable family of Mallards. Mom looked tired as her six babies lined up in a row to swim across the pond. The one in front wasn’t sure he wanted to lead the pack!

Mallard with Ducklings
Mallard with Ducklings

The pre-sunrise colors were awesome, especially when I cranked up the ISO on my R5 and found that I could take some decent flight shots. Like when this eagle flew in front of me as I looked toward the sunrise…

Eagle in Flight
Eagle in Flight

The pond water glowed pink and purple from the reflection of the clouds. This Tricolored Heron did a little dance for me as he tried to spot his breakfast.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron

As I approached the small rookery island where the wading birds are nesting, I had more and more birds flying over my head. I was totally amazed at the images from the R5. I never dreamed of getting this kind of shot in the low morning light…

Wood Stork in Flight
Wood Stork in Flight

The sun took its time to emerge from behind the clouds. Finally it burst out in celebration, sending “God rays” over the landscape. This shot was bracketed for exposure and then HDR-processed in Photomatix.

Easter Sunrise
Easter Sunrise

It turned out to be an excellent day for flight shots. I biked closer to the rookery, and the birds put on a good show for me. This Great Blue Heron gave me a flight shot…

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

…and then I got the rookery. Oh my gosh! There were a ton of Roseate Spoonbills there, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen them in those numbers! They would fly towards me to grab nesting material from trees behind me. Their feathers glistened bright and pink the early morning light. So beautiful! What a nice Easter surprise!

Roseate Spoonbill in Flight
Roseate Spoonbill in Flight

The spoonies weren’t the only show-offs. Wood Storks were nesting in the tall trees behind me. They would steal a stick from the rookery island trees and then fly back to their nests. That meant they were flying right at me, in perfect morning light. So I ended up spending most of the morning at the same location, enjoying the flying birds and the joy of Easter morning.

Wood Stork with Nesting Material
Wood Stork with Nesting Material

Want to learn more about nature photography at Orlando Wetlands Park?

Check out my Orlando Wetlands Park page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!

Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!

Did you like this post? Leave me a comment about it!