Monday, October 11, 2010

Steady… Steady… Gotcha!

Last Friday, I saw a Great Egret on the lake at Fort Yargo State Park. I’d rowed into the bay by the Old Fort (segment 11) and saw one fishing near the bridge over the road where Upper Marburg Creek drains into the lake. It was a long shot but I thought I’d see if I could get closer to get a photo. I was surprised that I could get relatively close but the bird was concentrating so intently on fishing that it ignored me. I swung around to face it and got the following photos

The bird was surveying the water in front of it.

It spotted something of interest.

It'd just tossed its head back to let gravity carry the fish down into its gullet. Nice catch!

Note: It’s interesting to see a Great Egret on the lake at this time of year. I’ve been rowing here for nine years and, previously I’ve only seen Great Egrets on the lake earlier in the year during a drought year. Usually I only see Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias); usually three or four at this time of year; this year I’ve only seen one. I did catch a glimpse of a Green Heron (Butorides virescens) and only on one occasion a few weeks ago. I wonder if the strange weather this year has altered the behavior of all of these birds.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- The Cornell Institute of Ornithology: Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Related post:
- Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

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