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Posts Tagged ‘egret’

I thought that the Great Egrets (Ardea alba) had already left our area, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this one on Tuesday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The egret was perched on the ruins of a duck blind sticking out of the water and spent most of the time that I observed it preening and simply surveying the surroundings.

As I moved about trying to compose the shot, I was fortunate to be able to get an angle in which the colors of the autumn foliage were visible in the background. The autumn colors in my area are somewhat muted, but beautiful nonetheless.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I love the effects of the light in this image of a Great Egret (Ardea alba) that I captured on Tuesday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. (For the sake of clarity, I should note that I captured the image and not the egret.) When I first spotted the egret, its wings were down and it was more or less just a silhouette. As I was focusing on it, though, the egret hopped into the air and flapped its wings and I snapped the shot. I was looking almost directly into the sun and I was fascinated by the way the light illuminated the outstretched wings and was happy that I was able to capture, at least in part, that effect.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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It won’t be long until all of the Great Egrets (Ardea alba) leave my area and head for warmer locations. That makes each encounter now with a Great Egret even more special. Yesterday while I was exploring Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I spotted this egret perched high in a tree. Initially my view was blocked by a lot of branches, but eventually I was able to maneuver into a position from which I could get an unobstructed shot.

I really like the way that the branches act as a natural frame for the egret. Additionally I like the whimsical element of the feather sticking up on the bird’s head—it reminds me of the cowlick that I had as a young boy, back when I had hair. Sometimes my Mom would lick her fingers and unsuccessfully attempt get my hair under control.

Great Egret

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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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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