… especially when you can see, not just one, but a mess of Great Egrets perched in one tree?
Well, this event occurred on September 15th, a mid-week trek at Lake Erie Metropark, on a hazy late Summer day. Smoke from the western wildfires had settled in and the gray haze permeated that park, with an occasional appearance by the sun. It brightened up as the day wore on. I’ll write about the rest of that day’s trek under separate cover, but the highlight for me was the abundance of Great Egrets.
Great Egrets galore.
It seemed at every twist and turn on the Cherry Island Trail or the wooden overlooks, there were Great Egrets and I knew I’d have enough shots to make a Wordless Wednesday post of those regal-looking waterfowl.
Below are just a few of them.
When I reached the car, I was weary from my long walk. Once again, I had cut across the entire park and had already walked about six miles. I sank down in the front seat, blew the A/C full blast to cool off a little, then soon was on my way.
As I rolled along the road to exit the park, in my peripheral vision, I caught a flash of white and glanced over to see dozens of Great Egrets perched in one tree. It was quite a sight to see! Unfortunately, there are signs forbidding stopping or parking on the shoulder, as I have mentioned before when I’d see a deer leisurely strolling along the road. So, without hesitation, I exited the park and re-entered again, drove all the way to park at the Marshland’s Museum, knowing I still had a bit of a hike to see those Egrets.
I parked the car, then hustled as fast as I could thinking they might take flight and, just as I arrived, I saw a pickup truck slow down, stop and a man hopped out. Grrr! Of course I was irked that I hadn’t done that. “Hey there” the man said while gesturing to the tree. “How about those birds and the reflections … it’s all God’s work you know.” I nodded in agreement and we just stood there silently admiring the pyramid of Great Egrets.
“Pleased to meet ya ma’am. I’m Jim and since I retired I visit this park every morning. I have never seen a sight like those Egrets up in a tree before, so I just had to pull over!” I told him I don’t visit all that much, maybe ten times a year, but I’d never seen such a sight either.
Well I probably should have taken my photos as soon as I got there, but, between admiring the Egrets and chit-chatting with Jim, I was busy watching them with my own eyes and not with my eye pressed up to the camera, finger on the shutter button.
Several drivers saw us, looked over, slowed down and held their phones up to snap a few shots of those Egrets. But woe was me as a motorcyclist whizzed by and, even though the road was not close to where these waterfowl gathered in the trees, the loud motor spooked them and they instantly took flight, some to the water …
… and others to the trees across the marsh. Sigh.
A few Egrets lingered in the trees, their white bodies dotting the branches.
By now, a pale sun had finally emerged for good, in between the clouds and causing stunning reflections on the still water.
A Great Blue Heron waded among the Great Egrets – no one seemed to object to his/her presence as far as I could tell.
After taking a ton of photos, I returned to the car and decided to walk that short Trapper’s Run Trail to Riley Overlook to see if any Egrets had returned there, but there were none.
It turned out to be a great day … a Great Egret kind of day.
Here’s a little cheer for your Monday – just click here.