I was able to move further down the dike where I took the first and second posts of this series and found a wide opening where I watched hundreds of birds move in a steady stream into the next open area.
Most of them weren’t interest in the open canal directly in front of me, but a few stopped.
A few egrets waded across. I wondered if the birds were getting tired as they had been at this frenzied activity for well over an hour that I knew of.
Once the birds got further to my right my view was obstructed by the reeds.
There was so much bird activity in this marsh it was hard to know where to look. It was an experience to be taken in with a wide view, not for images of an individual bird.
The entire flock was feeding in shallow water and slowly working from my left to right. All of the birds would be down and mostly hidden from my view then several hundred would lift off and advance, setting down at the front of the group. They probably were following any remaining fish that were trying to escape.
This was one of the most remarkable displays I’ve witnessed while out photographing nature.
The wading birds included Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tricolored Herons, White Ibis, and Glossy Ibis. There were a few Grackles in the mix, too.
This Hooded Merganser was outnumbered, by Common Gallinules of all things. Gallinules tend to stick to the edges of any waterway and mind their own business except for their cackling squawks which always alerts the whole area to a photographer’s presence. Or so I thought.
The Gallinules quickly got into the Merganser’s space.
He tried out paddling them.
They followed so the Merganser opted to put some extra distance between them.