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Posts Tagged ‘Ardea alba’

I inadvertently spooked a Great Egret (Ardea alba) last week while exploring a small pond at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I thought that it was going to fly away, but instead it opted to perch in a nearby tree. The sun was really bright as I tried to track the bird in my camera’s viewfinder, so many of my shots were overexposed. As the bird was settling in among the tree branches, I was able to capture this shot.  I really like this shot because of the egret’s wing  positions that are  so  unusual  and  graceful.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday I saw my first two Great Egrets (Ardea alba) of the year at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I had the sense that they were just passing through. They were resting in the distance and I was able to capture this image of one of them.  An hour later when I passed the same area, they were gone.

Unlike Great Blue Herons, many of which overwinter with us, Great Egrets spent the colder months in warmer locations and return in the spring.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Perched high in a distant tree, this first Great Egret (Ardea alba) of the spring made an appearance for me on Thursday morning at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I love this egret’s long feathery breeding plumage.

My only regret is that I was unable to get a closer look at this beautiful bird. The egret seemed content to remain in its standing perch for a long time—perhaps it was tired from an extended migration flight. I don’t yet know if this was merely a resting spot for the egret or if it will remain in our area.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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By this time of the year, the Great Egrets (Ardea alba) in our area have generally flown south for the winter, but one of them was still hanging around on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Its pose reminds me of that of the angels that we had in a manger set when I was growing up, looking like it was keeping watch in the early morning hours.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This Great Egret (Ardea alba) showed great balance and flexibility as it meticulously preened its feathers on Monday at Huntley Meadows Park. I would definitely need to see a chiropractor if I tried to imitate the position in the first image, assuming I did not completely fall over.

Great Egrets are relatively common in this park during the warmer months of the year, though they will soon depart for the winter. The Great Blue Herons, however, stay with us throughout the entire winter. I enjoy watching these large wading birds, never knowing when I will catch them in an unusual position or exhibiting an unusual behavior. The first shot is my clear favorite, because of the unusual body position, but I have included a couple of additional shots to show you various moments during the preening process.

 

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Early yesterday morning at Huntley Meadows Park, the Great Egrets (Ardea alba) were relaxing in the trees, awaiting the start of another beautiful day. When birds are as brilliantly white as egrets, it’s a challenge to get an exposure that retains the details in the feathers. I set the metering on my camera to spot metering and it seems to have worked pretty well. I even like the way that it darkened the background and made the egret stand out even more.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Great Egrets (Ardea alba) are so graceful in flight—it’s like watching an aerial ballet performance. I spotted this egret early this morning at Huntley Meadows Park and captured this image as it was taking off from atop a tree on which it was perched.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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