The great egret was observed at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, the largest saltwater marsh along the California coast. Yes, I saw other birds but I watched for many minutes as this great egret caught a fish, swiped it through the water a couple of times … was it moistening it for an easy swallow or drowning the fish so it would stop wiggling … I do not know.
A snowy egret happened to walk right past all this action as though to say, right, you caught that fish, now eat it! The great egret continued to reposition the fish and then finally swallow. Here it is all in photos:
Absolutely fascinating watching this great egret move the fish into position for it to be swallowed. I wondered at times when the great egret was repositioning the fish whether it was going to drop right out, but it did not. Watching wildlife is fascinating when we can slow down and spend minutes and not simply walk by.
Birds at local parks are often comfortable with activity around them. A bird will find and look around to be sure it is in a good spot. As a bird photographer, this allows me a chance to capture a photo and anticipate the bird taking flight to possibly capture another photo! Okay, good luck with all of that! My plan, a return visit to Lakeside Park to see and photograph some birds.
Across the lake, I see a great egret. It is standing there. Will it fly toward me at some point? No, it flies about 20 feet to a slightly higher spot further from the water’s edge. No problem, I can wait as I anticipate it will fly at some point in time across the lake!
The great egret is relaxed, looking around, in no hurry and I am thinking I may not be seeing this bird move or fly in the next hour, if I was to remain here so long … which I could not. I’m looking around too and noticing the American wigeons, mallards, and western bluebirds.
After 20 minutes the great egret is in flight! Not the best light, but I am here to practice my photography skills so I get a few photos!
The great egret lands and gets comfortable in this new spot. I take a peek at my photos and discover a couple of them seem okay, plus it is time for me to go! It was a productive three-quarters of an hour, yet not as relaxing for me as it was for the great egret.
Do we know how much home construction is happening in Arizona!?! I was driving north of Tucson to locate areas with water, such as a tank, pond, small stream, or river and what I saw were huge housing developments being built. As a result, I needed to drive further. Finally, agricultural land with greens and cotton! I drove across a bridge and at the river’s edge I saw a white heron, actually named great egret.
After a quick U-turn on the road and parking my car, I walked the bridge to capture a photo of the great egret. They love these shallow wetlands. I love their kinked neck as they stalk and capture their prey.
There was no way I could get closer to the bird so when it flew off I decided to walk a nearby paved trail where I met some bicyclists. The railing along the bicycle path and distance from the river is a good idea so wildlife can comfortably live their lives. With the egret flying off, I thought it would be the last I would see of it. Ever the optimist, I walked the path to see what else I could discover!
And there was the egret! Further down the river, the egret continued its stalking and I enjoyed observing the bird. After five minutes I realized this bird was in its own heaven and would not be coming any closer to me, so I decided to leave it in peace. This 20 minutes with the great egret almost did not happen. Fortunately I had looked over the bridge’s concrete wall to the river and immediately recognized the white bird as a great egret! A wonderful way to spend time outdoors!