I Think We All Know Who Made Those Tracks…

Very early this morning, I mean really early, we noticed some fresh tracks in the salt marsh mud leading out to the shallow water due to low tide.

The architect of the tracks was quickly spotted making his way along the mud and out into the water to get an early jump on some morning fishing.

The little sneak had gotten up and out right at sunrise, no doubt to surprise the seafood buffet that will be unprepared for a hungry breakfast guest.

Alligator Creeps Into Salt Marsh

Alligator Creeps Into Salt Marsh

Alligator Creeps Into Salt Marsh

Alligator Creeps Into Salt Marsh

Where Are You Guys Off To In Such A Rush?

Earlier this week I looked up just in time to see a group of white ibis flying in formation across the salt marsh in a huge hurry.

Not sure what the big emergency was, but they must have needed to be somewhere fast because they were really moving!

Ibis Flight Group

Ibis Flight Group

Ibis Flight Group

The ‘Tweener’

Little Blue Herons start out as all white juveniles and look very similar to snowy egrets. As adults, they become almost entirely blue with a small touch of maroon coloring.

When they are at the in between phase, transitioning from immature to adult little blues, they appear as a patchwork checkerboard of blue and white. These are the birds we often refer to as “tweeners”.

This afternoon I saw one flying above me over the salt marsh. Little blue herons are usually high flyers as opposed to skimming just over the reeds as the larger herons often will, so I ended up with these open blue sky shots.

LBH Tweener Flight

LBH Tweener Flight

Fluff And Fly

Earlier this weekend we were watching a tricolored heron fishing in the salt marsh.

Once he decided he was done and it was time to move on, he gave himself a good fluff up and then quickly left the scene.

I really like these colorful active little herons!

Tricolor Fishing and Flying in the Marsh

Tricolor Fishing and Flying in the Marsh

Working For Your Breakfast

It’s a rough morning when you have to struggle with your own breakfast.

This egret plucked a fresh and feisty eel out of the salt marsh this morning and it took him a good ten minutes to wrangle the wriggling snack down. But the hard work paid off and he did eventually manage just fine.
Although, I expect that eel has to be alive for a little while anyway in the bird’s stomach which must be an odd feeling.

Egret Snags an Eel

Egret Snags an Eel

Egret Snags an Eel

Egret Snags an Eel

Sunset Cruise

Yesterday evening I grabbed a shot of this great blue heron as he was flying out across the marsh.

I was shooting directly into the warm setting sunlight which was backlighting the heron as he glided through.

GBH Flight at Sunset

Great Blue Heron and Friend

A blue heron watches alertly as an alligator glides along slowly in the background at the salt marsh this evening.
The gator had no interest in the bird at all, he had fresh blue crab on his mind and we saw him catch and crunch down a tasty crab.
I never saw the heron catch a single fish, guess he was too busy keeping an eye on his alligator buddy.

GBH and Alligator in Salt Marsh

“Don’t Bother Me Pal, Go after The Other Guy”

As a young alligator begins to creep up on the fishing egret, the bird initially ignores the gator until it starts to glide in a bit closer.

Keep in mind the egret is fully capable of flying off and leaving the area, but chooses not to at this point. Instead, the egret appears to redirect the alligator’s attention over to his nearby friend who clearly has no idea what is going on.

That plan seems to work perfectly as the gator turns and veers off toward the other unsuspecting egret.

Of course nothing really happens and all egrets are just fine because the alligator was diverted once again by a passing fish which was more than likely his intended prey of choice that morning to begin with.

It never fails to amaze me how the two species can actively feed in a close proximity to one another with (as usual) only the fish coming out on the losing end of the whole deal.

Egret Chases Off Gator

Egret Chases Off Gator

Egret Chases Off Gator

Egret Chases Off Gator

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