Snowy Egret Landing Sequence Plus Two Bonus Photos

/, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Snowy Egrets, Utah/Snowy Egret Landing Sequence Plus Two Bonus Photos

Snowy Egrets might be considered “common” birds by some people especially when they live in areas where these birds are year round residents but here in Utah we only have them for part of the year so I’m always glad when I have them in my viewfinder. Because of their snowy, white feathers they can be a challenge to expose properly but I like challenges and I know that with my skills plus my gear I can handle those challenges.

Snowy Egret landing in shallow water, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahSnowy Egret landing in shallow water – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Four days ago I was able to photograph a Snowy Egret landing sequence that I liked because of the action of the bird, the setting and the lovely lighting I had at the time. The photo above shows the split second where the egret’s right “Golden Slipper” first touched the water.

Snowy Egret using its wings to slow down as it lands, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahSnowy Egret using its wings to slow down as it lands – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

While this one shows the Snowy Egret using its wings as brakes to slow down, by now both feet are in the water and the water is splashing around the egret’s feet. I love that one yellow toe is sticking up above the water in this frame.

Snowy Egret leaning in on landing, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahSnowy Egret leaning in on landing – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

In this photo the egret is leaning forward and that movement also helped to slow the bird down some too.

I know that some people won’t like that only a tiny sliver of the egret’s eye shows in this frame but this part of this sequence and it belongs in this post because of the behavior.

Snowy Egret moments after landing, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahSnowy Egret moments after landing – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This photo shows that the egret’s movement has slowed down but that it is still moving forward towards the east as seen by the splashing water and the raised wings and foot…

Snowy Egret settling down after landing, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahSnowy Egret settling down after landing – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And in the final image of the landing sequence I can see that the egret is settling down after the landing. The series of images goes on after this but then it becomes a series where the egret fluffs it feathers and then begins to scratch its head, that series may be posted in the future but I didn’t want to bog down this post with a series of 20+ images.

It was fun and challenging to photograph this Snowy Egret landing sequence and that is part of what makes me so passionate about being a bird photographer, the birds themselves are the number one reason of course.

Banking Snowy Egret in flight, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahBanking Snowy Egret in flight – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

These bonus photos were taken the day before the landing sequence above and I just felt like I wanted to end this post with them because I love the dark backgrounds that these two images have and how they contrast with the white plumage of the Snowy Egrets.

When I first viewed this photo I was disappointed because horizontally the egret seemed to close to the left edge of the frame but then I looked at it differently and cropped the image vertically and decided I liked it best using that format.

Strutting, fluffed up Snowy Egret in early morning light, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahStrutting, fluffed up Snowy Egret in early morning light – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And who doesn’t like seeing a strutting, fluffed up Snow Egret that still has some of its breeding plumes? I know I do!

Life is good.

Mia

7 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte September 30, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Absolutely incredible series of shots Mia. You captured the Egret’s movements perfectly. What a beautiful bird! Thanks.

  2. Elephants Child September 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my.

  3. Ernest J Ellison September 29, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Oh my, great shots Mia…landing sequences are so hard to get!! Way to go!

  4. Bob mcpherson September 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Gorgeous

  5. Marty K September 29, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Love this series!!! Snowy Egrets are plentiful year-round where I am and I still squeal with glee whenever I see one. Same with Great Blue Herons.

  6. Liz Cormack September 29, 2018 at 8:29 am

    OMGosh…..what a series of photos. They are wonderful. And bonus photos to boot. I would love to see a Snowy Egret but they are few & far between in the Niagara Peninsula.

  7. steven kessel September 29, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Phenomenal sequence and it’s skills waaaay more than gear!

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