Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Along This Mornings' Five Mile Walk





































































Click on photos to enlarge
A kind of soft gray November morning defined our walk today except for a few brief moments when the sun peaked through the clouds to light up that stately old Western Juniper along the lakeshore for me.
Dallas had a great time playing in the water and shaking the evidence all over me and the camera. But his patience only goes so far as you can see in the photo where he gets between me and the tree I was photographing with his 'it's time to move along look'. He was right, of course, because around the bend the lovely female mallard was waiting to pose for us and a little bit further came the big surprise of the morning. A Great Egret (Great White Heron?) stood fishing for breakfast right before our eyes and I managed to get a couple of hasty shots before Dallas scared it off with his meanderings.
I've seen Snowy Egrets here before but can't remember ever seeing a Great Egret on the lake, what a gorgeous bird!
Addendum 12-02-06
After a question from jules on the comments page, I did a little research and have determined the large white bird is a Great Egret (Casmerodius albus), not a white morph of the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius). They're very similar looking but the egret has dark legs & feet, and the Great White Heron is typically found only in the Southeast U.S.
The bird was standing too deep in the water for me to get a look at the legs but I got a quick shot of it flying away and the feet are very dark.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Endment said...

Great Shots! Wonderful texture detail on the Juniper bark. the mallard looks as if she is going to move right into the camera. What a perfect addition to the day to have the White Egret!

What kind of a camera and lens are you using?

2:21 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

endment-

Thank you!

I use a 5 megapixel Canon PowerShot S2IS, and for the mallard and egret shots I used Canon's TC-DC58B Tele-Converter lens. I also have the Canon WC-DC58A Wide Converter lens for the camera.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

What an amazing old tree (Dallas is a very handsome fellow, too)!

5:13 PM  
Blogger Jacki said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful!

6:02 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

I'm really stunned by the photo quality, Jim. Zowie! Great shots, too.

6:20 PM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

lovely photos, and Dallas looks like a happy dog there!

1:05 PM  
Blogger Tree said...

wonderful photos! I look at pictures like the one of your dog and have to believe they know something they want to tell us.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous jules said...

Great pictures Jim! We also have Great Blue Herons, but the dark morph. Would you say yours was a white morph, or a Great Egret? They are two different birds. Great Egret Distinguishing characters: 38" Smaller than Great White Heron but larger than other white herons; black legs & feet distinguish from others. Long plumes on back and breast during breeding season.
Great Blue Heron - white morph Distinguishing characters: 50" Much bigger than other white herons; yellowish legs & feet distinguish from Great Egret.
I love the picture of the tree.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Vivacious Vegan said...

Simply exquisite! A feast for the eyes.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I'm glad you all liked these shots, it was a very nice morning indeed.

jules-

After doing a little more research and double checking my photos I've come to the conclusion that this is a Great Egret, which are known to be in this area, or near here, year round. I've not seen one here before unless I mistook it from a distance, for the smaller black-beaked Snowy Egret.

I got a picture of the Great Egret flying away and the feet are very dark. It was standing too deep in the water fro me to see its leg color.

And the white morph of the Great Blue Heron is usually only found in the Southeast U.S.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Val said...

I have fallen in love with Dallas! Such character, and beautifully captured.

12:08 PM  

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