Thursday, October 7, 2010

Great Egret

 Some days birding is just a little more special than others. While all birds are great and getting a decent picture of all birds is also a thrill,  there still are many beautiful and unusual birds out there that I want to photograph. This last week has been good for that. Today, in between appointments, I took a dart out to Cape Spear in the hopes of seeing the Great Egret that had been spotted along Cape Spear Road.

There it was!

When I first saw the Great Egret, it was hiding behind a lot of brush being particularly cautious. I imagine a lot of bird watchers have been parking along side the road to get a good look at him. He has not yet taken to visitors.
 With a little patience and quite a bit of waiting, he began to move out from behind his cover and expose himself and his awesome size. Note the length of the legs showing below his white body.
This bird is a "come from away." It most often resides in America's Heartland and up the East Coast to around Massachusetts. It shouldn't be here but must have gotten off course. To my knowledge, this is the third sighting of a Great Egret on the Island since Spring. This is my first opportunity to see one here. They are very common on the waterways in Arkansas.
 While watching this handsome bird, along came a very loud truck and spooked him. He burst from behind the shrubbery and lofted himself into the air. I was ready.
 Without doubt this is a healthy bird, he reacted very quickly and with a great deal of strength to lift off and fly to safety. It was magnificent.
I think the last two Great Egrets spotted this year lingered at their resting sites for several days before moving on. If you are interested in catching a glimpse of this one, head out the Cape Spear Road, just past the Blackhead turnoff. The bird is nestled low in a small body of water on the North side of the road less than a kilometer from Blackhead. Better hurry because, he seems strong enough to leave at any time.

To top it off today, I also got some fair pictures of Snow Buntings at Cape Spear.

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