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.
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.
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.
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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