I previously worked as a news and sports photographer. Recently I have been enjoying wildlife photography. My approach toward bird photos is similar to sports photography. I attempt to capture mostly action and hopefully a unique perspective.
Early this morning there were quite a few birds fishing in the marsh pond. I saw this egret catch a fish then was surprised to see him jump up and fly off with it because they usually just gulp fish down right on the spot.
I soon found out why the egret was flying when I realized he had been jumped by a wood stork that wanted the egret’s fish. Two things immediately struck me as odd about that. Wood storks are generally not this aggressive, and there seemed to be plenty of fish out there for everybody so why the huge fuss over this small fish?!
It got even more unusual when a second wood stork joined in and now the egret was being chased by two storks all over the pond area. The egret had a heck of a time holding on to his fish as the chase continued out over the salt marsh.
Eventually the wood storks gave up and the egret got to keep his fish but it sure seemed to be a lot of trouble and effort over one small fish!
Yesterday evening in the salt marsh, in addition to a pair of spoonbills, our egret friend “Radar” was also on duty keeping his usual eye on things.
At one point Radar put the spoonies on high alert and he was clearly upset and concerned about something nearby. Once we saw Mister You Know Who pop his head up out of the water we realized what got Radar all frazzled. The spoonbills stayed behind Radar as the Head Egret In Charge stared and glared down the alligator.
With the comforting knowledge that Radar had the situation covered, the goofy pink birds were able to relax a bit and continue feeding on the glass shrimp which were jumping around all over.
Eventually the gator got the message that Radar was not in the mood to be trifled with and he simply moved on. A bit later the spoonbills watched as the alligator glided on by in a completely non threatening manner.
He made one pass by Woody who was also busy fishing and did not pay much attention as the dejected gator slowly drifted along on down the marsh.
I got the feeling right away when I saw this wood stork carefully watching an alligator glide along in the salt marsh that the stork might have some wacky idea in mind.
I knew I was on to something when I saw Woody start to follow directly behind the gator. I have seen birds do this before, they will shadow an alligator hoping to scoop up panicked fish that get stirred up by the gator. But I did not really expect Woody to reach over and take a little bite out of the tip of the gator’s tail! Woody waited until the gator ducked his head under the water to grab some fish and then went for it.
Lucky for the wood stork the alligator ignored the indiscretion (this time) and just continued on about his business.