As it turned out, our early March one-night stopover in St. Augustine was to be my last chance this Spring to watch and photograph big birds. The control of these egrets as they land lightly on way-up-high branches is breathtaking (especially when I consider how I practically crashed into each tree-top platform the first-and-last-and-only-I-mean-it time I did ziplining). I didn’t see a single egret crash into a tree trunk or overshoot a targeted perch.

2-photo collage of egrets landing on branchesThis next guy didn’t even come to a complete stop: He touched down and then jumped down.

2-photo collage of egret landing

Nor were the egrets the only ones executing well. This wood stork was clearly working a bit to maintain his balance, but what else are big wings for?

3-photo collage showing wood stork landing and balancing

Well, maybe for flying.

My second time at the site was the next morning, which was the first day of daylight saving time. Compared to sun time that was an hour too early: It wasn’t quite sunrise. Worse, it was an overcast day. I was working to a travel schedule, so I couldn’t wait around or come back for better light conditions. That was disappointing, but the birds weren’t. Some egrets were getting ready to make whoopie, bringing in nesting materials in an airborne ballet.

3-photo collage showing egrets with nesting materials


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9 Responses to Incoming!

  1. Pingback: A Different View – Traditional Iconoclast

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  3. Jim Robertson says:

    They can look so ungainly when landing, or so graceful, either way they are a sight to behold.

    Nice images ! Very much like the early morning nest material carrying pictures

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – Thanks! I was so disappointed to have low light in my last hour there this season, but so it goes. At least the birds had started nesting – we were there a month earlier than last year and I didn’t know what we’d see.

  4. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – I’ll bet the young ones who have just learned to fly aren’t as graceful when landing. Have you ever seen the videos of young Canada geese who are just learning to land on water? Who knew young geese can do belly flops and unintended nose dives?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – Good point. I haven’t seen those videos but if it’s anything like watching a baby learn to walk, I can imagine.

  5. Barry says:

    sure looks like super controlled landings – I am jealous

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barry – 🙂 And they transition super fast, too, going from flying to standing around like, “What? I’ve been here all day.”

  6. Pingback: More Different Birds – Traditional Iconoclast

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