Saturday 23 May 2015

Happiness is Two White Spaghetti Noodle Plumes

Arriving in Renews on my way back home from a birding trip down the Southern Shore I was startled to see an egret on the tidal flats near the main road.  My initial reaction without thinking it through was how did the long staying Snowy Egret that I'd seen just an hour ago at Biscay Bay get here to Renews so quick.
The Snowy Egret living at Biscay Bay and Portugal Cove South for the last two weeks was alive and well at Biscay Bay Saturday morning with its ever brightening yellow lores.

I put my binoculars on the bird just as the wind blew out its two long spaghetti noodle white head plumes. THIS WAS A LITTLE EGRET ! ! !  A very pleasant surprise especially since the bird was not there in the morning.

This was the 11th Little Egret for Newfoundland, a semi-regular vagrant with a huge aura of excitement around it.  It stood still for about 30 minutes before suddenly springing into feeding mode. I am guessing it was tired from a hard flight from somewhere (Europe? North America?) in the strong SE to SW winds during the previous 15 hours.  

The egret caught many sticklebacks in the tidal shallows which it had trouble swallowing at first but seemed to get better at it over the next two hours.  Photography of a glaring white bird in the brilliant midday sunlight is the biggest challenge of digital photography, and a challenge I have not mastered if it is even possible to master. The following are some of the better photos after a first run through the hundreds of shots this evening.  Maybe more chances tomorrow in less demanding light.

Little Egret at Renews, Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland  on 23 May 2015

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