These images were taken in a section of the wildlife management area that I don’t visit often. Until recently you had to climb over fallen trees to get there and the dike is lower, which puts the photographer closer to the water which is good and bad.
Getting a lower prospective and Alligator reflection is good. Being closer to unseen Alligators can scare the &#!% out of a photographer if they move!
Being lower also means less breeze, which much of the year means more mosquitoes. Last week was cooler so there wasn’t much insect activity.
This White Ibis was enjoying the sun and along came a Little Blue Heron.
The Little Blue Heron slowly encroached on the Ibis’ space.
This juvenile Little Blue Heron was on his own, just hanging around on a dead tree trunk. There was a small group at the other end of the big pond but most of his siblings and cousins have moved on. There are no adult Little Blues around the swamp either.
Birds with nothing else to do default to preening, and this fellow was no different.
Adult Little Blue Herons actively teach their young how to fly, encouraging them to take off by demonstrating and often tempting them to the end of branches with food. This adult and the juvenile on the right had their legs intertwined so I thought for sure the juvenile would launch.
The juvenile of this trio on the left had at least a short hop down as he arrived from a nearby tree after I started taking these images. The adult took off.
None of the three juveniles followed the parent.
After a little squabble the three settled down to wait for the adult to return for another try.
Last summer the trees around this small pond had a dozen or more Little Blue Heron nests. This year not a single pair nested here, but a few come around to look, including this one who was having a tree top view.
Below he dropped down to some new debris in the water, part of some limbs that got tossed around during a severe storm last week. The pond has been cleared of invasive cattails and other reed vegetation and there is much speculation among regular human visitors here that it was too much change for the herons.