Saturday, January 24, 2015

Storks and herons cooperating

The radar looked clear and there was no rain in the forecast, but there were quite a few clouds as we set out on the local wetlands about 10 minutes before sunrise this morning. The sun was just coming up when we reached the lake. 

Harbour Lake W HDR COREL 20141229

A Great Blue Heron is barely visible in the above landscape, and my photo suffers from the poor light:

Great Blue Heron 20141229

The sky took on a threatening appearance and light rain began falling before I could get back to the house:

Harbour Lake S HDR COREL 20141229

The rain stopped just as I exited the road from the wetlands and entered the gate to our subdivision, so I checked out the lake from a small park located a few doors from our home. 

Two Wood Storks were following a Tricolored Heron along the opposite shore: 

Tricolored Heron and Wood Storks 20141229

Tricolored Heron and Wood Stork 4-20141229

The heron seemed to be spotting places where fish were disturbing the water, and it would wait for the storks to catch up. Perhaps both are benefiting by this association. The heron is finding prey and the storks are stirring the water to disperse them into its open jaws. The stork also shades the water with one wing, probably encouraging small fish to seek safety in the shadow:

Tricolored Heron and Wood Stork 3-20141229

Tricolored Heron and Wood Stork 20141229

A Great Egret was wading along my side of the lake, to the east. The sun was behind it, causing its image to be in deep shadow, like a silouhette. Back-lighting sometimes enhaces the profile of white birds, but the photos must be carefully brightened.

Great Egret 20141229

A third stork came into view from the right (east) end of the lake and caught up with the other two. Then it flew over close to me where the egret was fishing:

Wood Stork in flight 2-20141229

Wood Stork in flight 3-20141229

The stork and egret stayed close together and I saw the stork catch one fairly large fish. 

Wood Stork and Great Egret 20141229

Wood Stork and Great Egret 3-20141229

Wood Stork and Great Egret 2-20141229

One of the other storks then flew in, and the egret immediately flew away.  (If video does not load in the space below, CLICK THIS LINK

As I resumed my walk home the skies were clearing over our back yard lake: Monaco Cove HDR COREL 20141229 A "painterly" view of our back yard: Monaco Cove CROP3 HDR COREL 20141229


  1. Oh my, your painterly view of your back yard is simply gorgeous! Definitely something I would put on the wall. As for those glorious birds, the only time I have ever gotten to see them is on our trips to Florida. I do spot a heron every now and again but even that isn't too often. Love all your photographs. A real treat!

  2. These are stunning photos! The portraits of the birds are absolutely beautiful and those reflections are incredible!

  3. Hello!:) These are all amazing shots of the Herons, Storks, and the sky formations over the lake are beautiful. The ninth shot of the Stork IF is wonderful, and I enjoyed watching the vĂ­deo clip.

  4. Great shots - I watched a flock of cormorants apparently cooperating with a flock of egrets ones - remarkable behaviour.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  5. These are just wonderful in so many ways. I really enjoyed viewing them.

  6. Really great series of photos - I enjoyed than very much!

  7. Oh, my goodness...what some great shots. And such wonderful skies to look at. I love the one of the stork flying.


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