Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Egret strikes a streak?

Almost always successful, not always tidily so!

Sat in the open at the edge of a bay in the main lagoon today waiting for a feeding Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia) to wander into camera range. No noble object in mind, apart from hoping for cloud, snowy white bird and distance to coincide with my photographic desires.

As with 99 per cent of such enterprises the desires went unsatisfied. But it was enjoyable sitting in the warmth, with or without the co-operation of the egret and the clouds.

After the opening five minutes or so what finally struck me was the bird's high success rate. Roughly 20 strikes for one probable miss. The figures included three land strikes - all winners, of squat insects, presumably small grasshoppers or similar - and about 17 against smaller fish and insects in and on the water - and usually swallowed in an instant.

Perhaps the bird was on a lucky roll. I can't recall in the past noticing such success. Or perhaps something that's been staring me in the face finally caught my attention. You can count on me paying more attention beside the lagoon!

And just because it's fun, here's nature bringing out the clowns. Well, circus days are what these two dangling breeze-blown larvae reminded me of. Not uncommon. Sorry, don't know species.

4 comments:

mick said...

Very nice photo of the Intermediate Egret. Its not the preferred habitat around here so I only have Little Egrets and Great Egrets - and the occasional Reef Egret.

Mosura said...

Not a bad success rate. I remember watching a White-faced Heron at Keepit Dam, N.S.W years ago walking along the shoreline and getting a fish every few paces.

I like the caterpillars.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony
The caterpillars win my vote, photographically. Stunning details. Nice observation of the Egeret's "strike rate".
Denis

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Mick. When the Littles return (soon) they'll be running over the top of where I sat today.

Hi Mosura and Denis. Careful with the praise. Site might be overrun by unnamed cute stuff.(If I remember to screw tripod mount to new camera - unlike today!)