White Morph Reddish Egret in Stormy Light

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Reddish Egrets/White Morph Reddish Egret in Stormy Light

In my two previous posts of a Snowy Egret and a Great Egret I mentioned how the early morning light and a nearby storm gave those images a feeling of drama. These white morph Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens)  images were taken that same morning not long after I created the Great Egret photos.

White morph Reddish Egret with a stormy backgroundWhite morph Reddish Egret with a stormy background – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 125, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 280mm, natural light

As the storm moved closer is began to pour directly under the clouds and that area looked rather gray but the light was still gorgeous on my subject. I had moved south from the Great Egret when I can across this white morph Reddish Egret hunting in the shallow waters of a narrow tidal pool in between the beach and a small spit of sand that touched the Gulf of Mexico at Fort De Soto’s north beach. The egret pretty ignored my presence while it hunted, I was laying flat on my stomach at right on the edge of the warm water. Again the weather conditions gave these images dramatic light.

White Morph Reddish Egret hunting ahead of a stormWhite Morph Reddish Egret hunting ahead of a storm – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 125, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 220mm, natural light

While I photographed this egret the lighting conditions changed rapidly and often, it would get a little brighter and then get darker. I’ve learned to work with the light rather than fight with it so I was not distressed about the challenges and I kept firing away, I still wasn’t sure when or if the storm would come in and I wanted as many images as I could possibly take of my subjects in the enchanting light.

White morph Reddish Egret in dramatic lightWhite morph Reddish Egret in dramatic light – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 125, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 310mm, natural light

The Reddish Egret danced, pranced and dashed back and forth in front of me and struck some very interesting poses. They are fascinating to observe and photograph while they hunt. The storm off shore had kicked up the waves so I had to be careful to not dunk my gear into the water while still keeping my lens as low as I could.

White morph Reddish Egret under stormy skiesWhite morph Reddish Egret under stormy skies – Nikon D200, handheld, 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 125, Nikkor 80-400mm at 400mm, natural light

The light brightened about the time I created this photo and I could see that the storm was heading towards the northeast, I knew about then that the storm was going to miss me at Fort De Soto and I spent another hours or so photographing other birds on the beach and tidal lagoons. As I drove home to Tampa I found the storm and drove home in a deluge. I lucked out though because I had several memory cards full of images that contained the great light that thunderstorm provided.


* I am out of town so I scheduled this post ahead of time, please feel free to share.


  1. Dave Sparks June 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Wonderful captures. The Reddish Egrets are probably my favorite “Pensacola area” bird to photograph. The White Morphs are uncommon here, but I’ve been seeing one intermittently this year. The stormy background really adds dramatic contrast.

    • Mia McPherson June 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Dave, I know you are getting some of the bad effects from TS Debby, please stay safe my friend.

      Oddly enough every once in awhile a Reddish Egret shows up in Utah too, when another one shows up I hope I can get some new images of this beautiful egret! Thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated.

  2. Bob Zeller June 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    You did it again. Awesome images, Mia.

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Bob, thanks for your comment.

  3. Maria Firpi June 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

    The light really enhances the white morph, it makes the whites even more beautiful.

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you Maria, the light fell on my subjects so beautifully.

  4. Tammy Karr June 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Gorgeous images! The lighting and colors are beautiful!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Tammy, thanks, the light was gorgeous that morning.

  5. threecollie June 11, 2012 at 9:45 am


  6. Carol Mattingly June 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Such beautiful birds. The light is truly something. Carol

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks Carol, I was very pleased with the light that morning.

  7. Julie G. June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Mia, these are truly stunning images of the Red Egret hunting! The lighting really does make for exquisite captures. I am so inspired by your fabulous photographs!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Julie, thank you for your comments on these images and for your very kind words.

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