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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Showy Egret Wonders

Yesterday at Ding Darling there was a feeding frenzy with Snowy Egrets doing amazing behavior. Small fish were concentrated in a muddy ditch beside the road and scores of herons were there trying to feed on them. The Snowy Egrets had an astounding feeding technique. They would fly across the ditch while dragging their feet, possibly to scare up the fish, or even as a way of slowing their speed, so they could reach down and grab a fish. My photos capture all of this, complete with seeing a Snowy with its prize — a tiny fish, in its bill.
This all took place mid-day in bright sun, a photographic challenge to capture a white bird and still show the detail in the wings with no burn-out of overexposure. So I used a compensation of minus 2 2/3 to retail the detail in the wings. Most photos shot at f/10, 1/2500, ISO 200 and a 300mm lens with Canon 1D Mark II body.


Dan Huber said...

great photos


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Amazing shots.

Kevin said...

Very cool series of shots! They seem to have picked up a few tricks from their Reddish Egret friends.

LNMP298 said...

Very nice pictures. It's like watching egret ballet - they look so graceful!

Jason said...

I've seen this behavior at Viera Wetlands in Melbourne in places where the water is too deep to wade. They didn't seem to drag their feet too much, but the "flaps and gear" down posture was the same.

Cathy said...

You've captured those impossibly elegant lines that I've admired from the first time I watched egrets at the Ding.