Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gooseneck Cove Is Coming Alive Again

Well, the Winter flocks have pretty much moved on; there are just a few Mallards and Canada Geese left who usually stay here year round. But the Pintails and the Teal and the Mergansers and the Grebes have all moved on. The good news is that the Summer waders are coming back. Today I saw a Great Egret, three Snowy Egrets, and two Lesser Yellowlegs in the upper Cove off Hazard Rd. Here, take a look:

This Great Egret kept turning around and around, ostensibly looking for lunch, but keeping one eye nailed to me to make sure I wasn't coming any closer.

This Lesser Yellowlegs, a member of the Sandpiper family, ignored me completely. I just had to get this shot because of the reflection.

This Snowy Egret was one of a trio who were hanging out on the Upper Cove. He had just been doing the "Snowy Dance" when he caught me looking and stopped to try and figure out what I was and if I was any danger to him. Oh yeah, the "Snowy Dance"; Snowy Egrets dance lightfootedly through shallow water to scare up small fish and shrimp. making them easier to slurp up for a tasty meal. When other wading birds see the Snowies go into their dance, they all flock to the area coz they know the pickings will be good.

But this is my favorite shot of the day. The above shots were taken later in the afternoon, when it was warmer and the breeze had backed off a bit. But this shot was taken in the morning, on my first pass through the area, and there was a stiff and definitely cool breeze coming out of the northeast. These poor Snowies were huddled together as if they were wondering if they'd come north a tad early. Once it got warmer they got more active, but here they look like they're regretting the whole thing!

© 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. i'm dying to write a commentary for those 3, something like from grumpy old men!

  2. Roy these are fabulous photos, and they totally wake up the hope of spring in me (again today the rain and cooler temps have set in, but soon....soon....).

  3. I really enjoy the look of egrets and other large birds when they are hunkered up like the three in your photo. They look then like strange chicks, mature - and yet with a youngster's pout and sulk body language.


  4. I really like the first pic of the egret! Nice, Roy.

  5. They defintitely look a tad perturbed...what a great shot

  6. You do seem to have an affinity for birds.

  7. I am looking forward to following the change in the avian population as we move into summer!

    Egrets are so aloof looking, I always think....