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The Daily Bucket–I Shouldn't Wear White, and You Can't Afford a Ring

I began tracking the migrations of the Great Egret (ardea alba), when I worked at a golf course near Banks in NW Oregon. An Egret would migrate to the golf course ponds every late Fall, leaving the frozen ponds of eastern Oregon behind for the season.

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Egrets (and herons) are fond of the fish and frogs that overpopulate the golf course ponds, and also feast on the countless voles darting between their burrows in the long fescue grass.

The first year at the golf course the egret only ate voles, but the next year it moved on the fish and frogs. In the very top of the picture, to the right of the flagstick, you can see a heron’s head peering over a berm, scowling at the egret.

In later years, I did not see the Egret at the golf course, maybe because of the herons’ objections.

But I did spot an egret  at a large stormwater pond, a few miles farther east, that returned year after year. Now I check the stormwater pond every late Fall. The Egret’s there now.

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The stormwater pond is chock full of minnows, frogs and other small creatures. It’s almost dry in August but in December it’s full to the brim. 

The Egret is hunting on the shoreline, surrounded but a dozen ducks.  The ducks see me first and shove off.  The Egret soon follows, and they all reconvene as far away from me as possible.

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The Egret is in about a foot of water.  Unlike the typical heron, who sometimes freezes still for half an hour, this egret plods into the boggy underbrush and starts feeding immediately and continuously. 

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Frog? Minnow? Field mice?  I never got a good look at the prey, which must be very small.

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A cute hoodie.

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The hungry Egret searches the boggy grass for another snack.

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It’s eating a fish a minute, or some such.  I rarely see a heron pack it away so quickly.

Thanks for reading The Daily Bucket,

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a nature refuge.

We amicably discuss frogs, animals, weather, climate, soil, plants, waters,  and life’s patterns.

 Phenology is how we take earth’s pulse.

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SPOTLIGHT ON GREEN NEWS & VIEWS” IS POSTED EVERY SATURDAY AT 3:00 PM PACIFIC TIME ON THE DAILY KOS FRONT PAGE. IT'S A GREAT WAY TO CATCH UP ON DIARIES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED. BE SURE TO RECOMMEND AND COMMENT IN THE DIARY.

Thanks again;

What have you noted in your area or travels? Any stealthy critters in your yard? Please post your observations and general location in your comments. I’ll check back by lunchtime.

/s/ Redwoodman

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