Saturday, August 21, 2010

Great White Egret

I saw what I thought was a white heron flying overhead.

The gangly legs trailing out the back;  the almost-prehistoric flap of huge wings.  Then the bird landing, standing gawkily on the shore.  Moving into the water, becoming so graceful then as it stalked its prey. Solitary.

A stork?

No, a Great White Egret.  A bit north of its range. 

I watched for twenty minutes as it skimmed along the shore looking for frogs, fish and crayfish.  It also carefully inspected the underside of old branches and the stalks of bullrushes... for snakes?  So elegant as its long neck darted and slashed the surface of the water.

The last time I marked the bird book with a sighting was Florida '89; although I'm certain I saw one on the South Shore last year.

Such a present!  A great way to enjoy morning coffee, sitting on the boat. I felt like pointing it out to people as they went by in their dinghies, seemingly oblivious to this rare visitor on the shore.  The egret being a big white bird, blending in among the swans and gulls.

Great White Egret photo credit

1 comment:

Giulia said...

Oh, I love them. I love them all (egrets). It's one of my favorite words, too. We have them down here (well, the shore not too far away) - all sorts. I saw many different kinds in Chincoteague/Assateague this summer. Oh, this is a nice photograph.....ciao Diane