Sometimes, or more accurately, rarely, a big surprise happens. You look out at your feeder and a bird you hadn’t seen in years is perched enjoying a meal. Or you are taking a winter stroll on a New England beach and notice a snowy owl resting in the distance.
The other day, I was treated to a few surprises on a much smaller magnitude. They came at a small park with a tiny pond in suburbia that typically has your normal birds. Crows and sparrows are the main birds with a few mallards in the pond.
On this particular day, however, things were a little different.
I normally drive right past the park without stopping or even casting a glance toward the pond, but something big and white caught my eye as being out of the ordinary. It was a great egret standing near the edge of the water. It wasn’t right at the edge where you would typically see an egret but rather 10 to 15 feet into the grass away from the pond. A sizable flock of Canada geese roamed around the grass near the egret.
I ventured out of New England last week to visit my brother in southwestern Florida. Here are a few shots I got in my travels. Two of my brothers and I went to Marco Island to see burrowing owls, but came up empty. We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and they were all hunkered in their burrows. By chance, two days later I was in Cape Coral, which is the other hotspot for these beautiful birds. I got up early and found my target.
Thanks for looking and indulging me. Back to New England for my next post.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Egret stands on a deck railing overlooking the Norwalk River in Norwalk, Conn., April 2016.
I parked the car at work, opened the door to get out and noticed a Great Egret standing on the railing of the boardwalk that runs along the Norwalk River. I closed the door, opened the car window, grabbed a few shots of the egret and watched as a guy on his phone completely clueless about his surroundings walked directly toward the impressive bird and chased it away. I was a bit miffed, but then again, let he who has never walked around on the phone completely clueless about his surroundings cast the first stone.
Oh well, not a bad shot anyway, especially with the considerable grayness of the day.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Egret stands in the Norwalk River in this April 2016 photo.
I saw my FOY egret today. In birding speak, FOY is ‘first of the year.’ So, in other words, today I saw my first egret of 2016 in New England. It was a Great Egret and it lurked among the tall grasses on the edge of the Norwalk River near where I work.
Soon, Great Egrets will become pretty much a daily sighting and Snowy Egrets will become increasingly common as well. If you’re from Florida, egrets are a daily occurrence year-round. If you’re from New England, the arrival of egrets in March or April is another welcomed sign of spring.
Sorry about all the garbage in the grasses. The snowy and cold April weather we’ve had lately has delayed the spring clean-ups.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Snowy Egret looks for food in Norwalk Harbor.
Here’s my latest For the Birds column, which describes the differences between Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets. For the Birds runs each week in the daily newspapers of Norwalk, Conn., and Keene, N.H. If you are out of those areas, tell your local newspaper about For the Birds and perhaps the column can get up and running there, too.
Here’s the column:
There are not many birds out there that have feet a different color than their legs.
From the top of their legs to the bottom of their “toes,” most birds are uniform in color. With many birds, such as songbirds and small shorebirds, the topic is fairly insignificant because their legs and feet are so small and rarely seen Continue reading →