A Tricolored Heron standing tall next to an old pier piling.
The majority of the water has been let out of one of the rice field ponds at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in advance of some repairs to be made on the back dike. This has left a mud flat that is very attractive to the wading birds.
From a distance I thought the other creature was a stick but I could clearly see the eyes of a small Alligator as I got closer.
The last image is focused on the Alligator, that was content to hold that spot while the Tricolored Heron hunted behind him.
A few Tricorlored Herons had tucked down into a canal, away from the fray of the other birds. This one wasn’t even hunting, just soaking up the morning sun.
In a little more open area another Tricolored Heron was hunting, creating rings in the water as he walked slowly along.
Meanwhile, while I was watching number two, Heron number one had moved out away from the bank a bit but was still in the same stance. I missed what had caused him to move.
A Great Blue Heron perched on an alligator ramp is passed by a Tri-colored Heron photo bombing my scene. Sometimes the larger Herons will give chase if they feel their space is invaded but this time he went back to preening.
A Tricolored Heron was perched on one of the wooden trunks along an old rice field dike. I think he was waiting on the sun, as was I, but we were to be disappointed until later in the morning.
When the sun did pop out I saw another Tricolored Heron doing a fly by.
These small herons are more apt to erratically fly in my experience, darting into the reeds or chasing each other. This one had somewhere else to get to and went by with a smooth, steady flight.
The large egrets and herons make dramatic water landings that include looking a bit as if they are conducting a musical group.
The Great Blue Herons especially seem to easily maintain their balance and smoothly tuck their wings into position.
The Tri-colored Heron completes his landing with a little less elegance, his wing tip feathers working just a little harder for some reason.
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, just after sunrise, July 15, 2018.
Wading birds and alligators gathered along this marsh inlet as the tide was going out.
The Snowy Egrets changed position frequently, they seem happiest when flapping around. The other egrets and herons tended to stick to their claimed spot, even as the alligators passed by.
Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, and White Ibis shared the banks.
This Tricolored Heron was patiently following some small fish up the inlet. Stepping forward slowly, slowly.
Yes, he got a very tiny fish! It looks a little bigger in his shadow, but still hardly seemed worth the time he put in.
The school of small fish inched along, too.
The heron kept following, but got further from the water, for a different vantage point.
The bank is very steep and the late afternoon sun highlighted some interesting layers of color in the dirt.
These images are of the same two Tricorlored Herons I featured on Monday.
They provided an ongoing show throughout the morning with their wild landings…
…and short hop flights.