Category Archives: Shore Bird

Trouble, Anhinga And Egret

When I started to shoot these I knew something was happening, but couldn’t see too much.

Trouble, Anhinga And Egret
Trouble, Anhinga And Egret

It seems an Anhinga nest was below the spot this Egret wanted.  Anhinga are not afraid of Egrets, and of course the Egret is aggressive by nature.

Trouble, Anhinga And Egret
Trouble, Anhinga And Egret

If you look closely you can see the sharp bill of the Anhinga sticking out of the underbrush.

Trouble, Anhinga And Egret
Trouble, Anhinga And Egret

The Great Egret was smart and backed off. Anhinga use their sharp bill as a spear to hunt… and protect their nests.

 

A Watering Hole, Marsh

These photographs were taken around a week ago, first week in Marsh.

A Watering Hole
A Watering Hole

Dept. of Natural Resources closed up the water flowing through this big lake/marsh. The purpose was to dry areas typically underwater and allow natural growth of grasses (Widgeon Grass).

Of course all the fish and other critters that were trapped in pooling water became instant food.

A Watering Hole
A Watering Hole

There were even small flocks of White Pelican, which should have been up near the Canadian border by now. They just might by year rounders here now. Migrations have gone ‘way off’ the last several years.

A Watering Hole
A Watering Hole

In these wider shots other species seen are; Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Caspian Tern, Glossy Ibis, Tricolored Heron, Willet, Sanderlings, Laughing Gull.

A Watering Hole
A Watering Hole

There are a few non-descript shore birds too.

Certainly not newsworthy photographs. Yet it’s always nice to see a grouping of wildlife like this. Reminds me of why we now live here.

It’s Stuck ! Anhinga

There is a downside of spearing fish with a sharp bill. They can get stuck.

It's Stuck ! Anhinga
It’s Stuck ! Anhinga
It's Stuck ! Anhinga
It’s Stuck ! Anhinga

And it’s especially embarrassing when you have an audience, like the Teals in the background.

It's Stuck ! Anhinga
It’s Stuck ! Anhinga

This time it wasn’t too bad and the Anhinga got it free in a minute or so.

It's Stuck ! Anhinga
It’s Stuck ! Anhinga
It's Stuck ! Anhinga
It’s Stuck ! Anhinga

Once he had the fish free it was a quick dive to get away with the prize.

This time the bird didn’t need to flip the fish in the air (fish flipping , click here) to get a good grip or eat quickly.

 

Anhinga Silhouette

A bit of an odd shot.

The plan was for this to be a monochrome image. A black bird with all the glare, random dark spots, and sun on the tree had to be B&W.

Anhinga Silhouette
Anhinga Silhouette

After a few changes to my settings this is what I finally captured.

Note; the Anhinga kept careful watch on me but didn’t want to jump back in the water. He was getting dry.  I wasn’t so close to upset him and that gave me all the time in the world to shoot, check my shot, and make changes. 😀

He was still drying off when I left.

Dry Marsh, Everyone Was There

Crossing over to a marsh we found…no water.

Best viewed large.

Dry Marsh, Everyone Was There
Dry Marsh, Everyone Was There

I was not walking out for a closer shot.

The shrinking water condensed all the fish into a very small area.

My guess is in an hour there were no fish.

Speaking with the head ranger we found the water was lowered, trunks and water flow blocked, to allow the Widgeon Grass seeds to finish sprouting. In a few days the seed will be out and the marsh opened up to water. The water will spread the seed all through the area, basically planting the wild grasses to support the wildlife.

Pretty clever.

The water level is controlled using the same ‘trunk’ methods from the last 300 years. The first trunks here were setup by enslaved people from Barbados and West Africa for rice growth.

It Gets Crowded Out There

A quick shot in a rookery. I was just looking to show how much can be happening at any given time.

Some places are like an apartment building.

It Gets Crowded Out There
It Gets Crowded Out There

Above you can see a Great Egret, Great Blue Heron with a chick, and a White Ibis in the background.

Once they all settle in fighting usually takes too much work. They have young to feed.

Anhinga Ready For Chaos

As soon as the Egrets and Great Blues have settled into nesting the ‘disrupter’ moves in.

They are another decent sized predator so a new round of issues begins.

Anhinga Ready For Chaos
Anhinga Ready For Chaos

Their method is to wait for an empty nest and just jump in and take it. They settle down in small groups so a lost nest is hard to get back.

This is a female just below a group of Cypress.