White Morph of Reddish Egret – The Dancer – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 250mm, natural light, not baited
Reddish Egrets seem to be natural born “Dancers” when they are hunting for prey, they twirl, spin, pir0quette and dip. They can look very funny, goofy and yet still be graceful. I came across this Reddish Egret white morph while photographing with a friend at Fort De Soto’s north beach one morning and it provided us with at least half an hour of entertainment.
I’ve heard that you can only get shots like this with long lenses but I don’t think that holds true in every situation. This photo was taken using my Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens at only 250mm and this wasn’t much of a crop. One of the reasons I was able to be this close to this Reddish Egret was because the birds at Fort De Soto are used to having humans around and they are less flighty because of that. Another reason is that I either sat or laid down on the beach so that my low profile was less threatening to the egret than it would have been if I had been standing up.
White Morph of Reddish Egret – a Ballet Pose – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 250mm, natural light, not baited
This white morph is in breeding plumage shown by the pink bill and the blue lores. Reddish Egrets can be found almost all year long at Fort De Soto, the only time I was really aware of their absence was after a tropical storm swept through the Gulf coast. Reddish Egrets frequent mudflats, tidal lagoons and along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico.
Watching and photographing them as they dance through the warm waters chasing prey is a spectacular sight. It is mesmerizing for a bird photographer like myself.