Wanamassa Birds

I frequently stroll the streets of Wanamassa, NJ, with camera at the ready to take pictures of birds.

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Location: Ocean, New Jersey, United States

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two Egrets at Shark River Hills

The weather was gorgeous so I decided to pop down to Shark River Hills to check out the action there before going on to Manasquan Reservoir over in Howell. As I approached the parking area I spotted a smallish egret in the water. It was lowish tide, so there wasn't a lot of water. Here's my first shot of the bird:

My immediate impression was that this was a young bird. It just seemed to frisky to be an adult. It kept lunging at the water and generally speaking progressed west to east heading into the incoming tide.

After it reached a certain point, it would take to the air and fly back up-river to about where it had started.

And then it would head east again.

Having been distracted by some ospreys that were circling, I made my way up on to the bridge and looking down river I was surprised to see what I took to be an adult egret had joined the action. Later reflection suggests that the smaller bird is in fact a snowy egret while the other is a great egret. This rather spoils the narrative I put up on Facebook.

When I got back to the river bank, the snowy egret put on a show. It spotted something in the water.

Leaned in for a closer look.


And got it!

After that, it did a celebratory dance (or so it seemed to me).

It did a short hop towards the ocean.

Then it went on another circle flight; I caught this image of it coming into alight in the water.

Here, it appears to be attempting to walk on the surface of the water.

But it quickly came a cropper!

Then it made its way over to the other egret where the two of them stood around in companionable comfort. This strengthened my opinion that they must be family, but having studied Sibley's, I think I was mistaken.


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