Saturday, February 18, 2017

White Morph Reddish Egret

Lorna was down on South Padre Island spending a few days with her sisters who are not birdcentric, so she did not even go birding at all. Whaaa? Family more important than looking at birds? I was going to go down to retrieve her back to Alamo on Wednesday, but a package from Amazon was delayed for a day.

The package contained a Nikon D5500 camera body. The D5500 has been superseded by a D5600, which has pretty the same specs with more bells and whistles, so the D5500 was decently priced. This set is from my first outing with my older Nikkor 55-300mm lens mounted on that new camera body. I am quite satisfied with the results. Issues are mine, not the equipment's.

Called and found that Lorna and her sisters were out walking the beach and we were to meet at Padre Brewing for lunch, so I headed directly to the Birding Center. The birding Center is actually a fancy building to the side of the sewage treatment plant which releases treated fresh water into the Laguna Madre. The resulting little freshwater to brackish streams are filled with tiny fish and the birds love it. Cattails had overgrown the place over time and were choking the streams so this month they came in with heavy equipment to remove some of them and dig out the small ponds. The fish and birds don't seem to mind a bit, but the Rails that hide in the cattails are now more distant and harder to see, let alone photograph. These photos are not in any particular order, but I tried to group photos of the same species together. 

At first the white egret/herons are a little confusing; there are Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets, then we have little Blue Herons which are white the first year, in Florida there are white morph Great Blue Herons. Oh yeah, the are Cattle Egrets, which came over from Africa - even flocks out on the lawns here in Alamo. The first two photos are first because it is a white morph of the Reddish Egret. It is a male coming into breeding plumage, probably its first year because the lores and upper bill are still rather dark - whatever, it is a rare and beautiful bird.

Tricolor Heron

Common Gallinules fighting as female looks on. There were as many as three battles going on at once with a number females looking on. A marsh lek.

Roseate Spoonbills - more beautiful from a distance than close.

Little Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Green Heron - amazing plumage.
Snowy Egret - oh them golden slippers.
Old guy with young camera - Gunnar


Redwing said...

Great photos, Gunnar! Quite a variety of waders you've managed to get. I never could get a good photo of a Roseate Spoonbill. Yours are fabulous. Looks like you're going to be experiencing a resurgence of joy for photography.

Gunnar Berg said...

That White Morph did it. The photos just cannot capture the ghostly other-worldness of that bird.

Anonymous said...

You didn't see the dark morph Reddish Egret? There are two beauties there right now.