Lately, Great White Egrets are showing up in my favorite bird watching bodies of water, Reelfoot Lake and Kentucky Lake. They seem to be adding to their numbers daily, so they must either be migrating through or planning a winter home. At any rate, I’m enjoying following them around with my camera, planning more paintings.
The long-legged elegance of Great Whites is a big part of their fascination. They wade through shallow water lifting each leg all the way out of the water before taking the next step. Perhaps that is for minimum disturbance of the water for clear vision. These egrets stalk their fish prey by remaining very still until they start to slowly lower their beak and extend their neck. They remain in the neck down and extended position until suddenly pouncing on the hapless fish swimming by.
Two years ago I had an RV in North Florida on a spot with a small shallow pond just a few feet away. My little dog and I would sit every afternoon on a swing watching the sunset on the pond. A Great White Egret showed up one day and fished in the tall grass on the edge of the pond. With my camera on my lap, I’d wait until he looked like he had spotted his dinner. I’d set the camera for rapid speed and catch the whole process. How his throat would stretch while swallowing a whole fish was truly amazing. He came back every afternoon for 2 weeks.
One day the idiot RV park owner cut down all the tall grass around the pond because too many of his golf buddies were losing their golf balls in the grass. I rarely saw the egret back after that or any other wading birds. Occasionally, a lonely cormorant would stop by for a little swim fishing but no more wading birds. That’s when I knew it was time to get out of the RV Park. I hate golf and love wading birds. The two apparently don’t mix.
At any rate, seeing all these beauties coming in to my favorite spots, means more paintings coming up. Time for me to get on it!
Maybe I’ll see you out there!!