It Was Pandemonium Out There!

When two alligators start going at each other, it kind of sets off a bit of a panic. It’s hard for anybody to remain calm and the best action is certainly to get out of the way and do it quickly.

This file shot from a while back demonstrates how one sudden aggressive move by these guys is all it takes to send a group of snowy egrets scrambling. The fact that all these snowys were hanging around in the close general vicinity of a couple of ornery gators is of course a separate issue. As usual, no one got hurt, however one might suggest they are asking for trouble. But then again, that’s snowys, always in the middle of the action.

While writing this I also realized this was my 1,000th post. A display of total pandemonium is not at all meant to describe my time doing a wildlife photo blog. Most of it in fact has been quite calm. But the roller coasted ride of my own life can occasionally find itself blending into the world of wildlife photography and life in the marsh. One minute things are quiet and serene, and in an instant things can erupt and immediately change everything.

But… that’s also the fun in it!

Pandemonium

Nice Eye Makeup

I saw another anhinga this morning at the edge of the marsh and I quickly noticed the distinctive ultramarine eye shadow look.
What this means is that this boy (yes it’s a male) is entering into breeding condition. He likely has a girlfriend stashed nearby which I will quite likely see later in the Spring.

Anhinga in Breeding Color

Anhinga in Breeding Color

Anhinga in Breeding Color

Anhinga in Breeding Color

 

 

 

Reluctant Lunch

Earlier this afternoon I was watching an anhinga fishing when he suddenly jumped up out of the water and onto a nearby stump with a fish stuck to his bill. The anhinga proceeded to pound and scrape the fish across the stump trying to get it off his bill so that he could gulp it down. The fish, of course, was not at all happy with how his day was shaping up and I strongly suspect he knew it would not end well.

After struggling for a couple of minutes, the anhinga finally swallowed his prize catch. Now that lunch was over the only thing left to do was climb to the top of the stump and triumphantly assume the wing drying pose!

Anhinga Snags Fish

Anhinga Snags Fish

Anhinga Snags Fish

Anhinga Snags Fish

Anhinga Snags Fish

Little Jet fighters

This afternoon there were a couple of terns zipping around the salt marsh making me dizzy trying to follow them.

These tiny, super fast flyers are always a fun challenge to try tracking as they swoop and dive in search of their prey.

The terns almost look like miniature fighter jets as they blast their way around the marsh at hyper speeds.

Terns at the Salt Marsh

Terns at the Salt Marsh

Terns at the Salt Marsh

Terns at the Salt Marsh

Parked

Here are two of the four alligators I saw parked at the edge of the marsh pond this morning. They are out awaiting the warming trend in temperatures that we’re expecting to start today.

So far they have been a bit disappointed, it was cool and somewhat blustery out there, but things appear to be improving as the day moves along.

It’s not nice to fool the alligators with the weather forecast. If you promise them a warm sunny day, that’s what they expect!

Parked

Parked

Up And At ‘Em

A tricolor from this past weekend quickly busts up out of the salt marsh and across the water.

I always enjoy watching these active and colorful smaller herons.

Tricolor Takeoff

Tricolor Takeoff

Hitting The Slush?

A brown pelican, from earlier this week, skis into the salt marsh almost making the water look like slushy snow. With those big pelican feet, they probably would make very good water or snow skiers.

Hitting The Slush

 

It’s That Time of Year

Earlier this weekend a great egret came gliding across the reeds, took a hard right turn, and landed in the salt marsh directly in front of me.

Once I spotted the bright green lores around it’s eyes I realized that this bird was in breeding condition. The egret will also likely develop long back plumes which may be fanned out during courtship.

Other egrets and herons may display breeding color and plumage as well. The snowy egrets get bright reddish orange lores, while the great blue heron has bright blue around it’s eyes and the tricolored heron’s entire bill may turn a bright royal blue.

Always interesting to see nature in action.

Egret in Breeding Color

Egret in Breeding Color

Egret in Breeding Color

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