Last week I saw five Great Egrets close to each other at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and while that might not seem like a lot it was the most Great Egrets I have seem together in Utah since I arrived here in 2009. I was excited about seeing and photographing them but then felt quickly disappointed when they all flew away before I could even stop my Jeep. They seem very skittish here in northern Utah.
They weren’t skittish on the Gulf coast of Florida though and there were times when I photographed them there that they completely ignored me and went about the business of just being themselves.
On the afternoon December 1, 2008 I met up with a friend at the north beach of Fort De Soto County Park to photograph birds together and we found a Great Egret in a tidal lagoon next to a spartina marsh in lovely afternoon light with a large fish in its bill. Without even thinking both of us dropped down onto the sand simultaneously to belly-crawl a bit closer to the large wading bird where we hid behind some small sand dunes to photograph the egret.
The Great Egret struggled to swallow the large fish and even though it readjusted the fish in its bill several times it never swallowed the fish before it dropped it into the lagoon and flew off. In this frame the fish can be seen under that water in front of the egret’s left foot.
Even though the Great Egret didn’t eat its catch of the day Adrian and I both took some lovely images of it.
Life is good.