Last fall the land managers let this old rice field dry out and some vegetation flourished, then died back over the winter, leaving tall stalks and weed trees. Sometime over the winter water was let back in, and now covers the field.
The wading birds are happy to poke around looking for food, including this small flock of Wood Storks.
I thought they were coming back toward me, but they quickly did another u-turn and moved to the back of the field.
A few dozen wading birds had gathered for easy pickings of fish in the low water as the pond was draining for repairs to be made to the outlet piping. A Wood Stork had the newly exposed Alligator ramp all to himself and wanted to keep it that way.
A few of the Great Egrets were squabbling over a spot on the ramp while The Wood Stork stood his ground on the high end.
They all settled in a truce, for a few minutes.
The water level in this pond is normally maintained at about three feet (1 meter) in this section, leaving just the top of the ramp exposed. The duck weed, mosquito fern and other aquatic plants settled in a drape over the Alligator ramp as the water drained out.