We visited Fish Haul Beach Park yesterday afternoon, hoping to see some interesting birds or animals on the receding high tide. It’s probably the wrong time of year for fiddler crabs and other tiny things, but we lucked into a few interesting snowy egrets and a tri-colored heron.
Just after we arrived at the observation deck we noticed a white wading bird in the shallows and, thinking it was an immature little blue heron, we watched a bit as it foraged. Suddenly a pair of white waders came storming in and landed near the feeding bird, and a ruckus followed as the larger of the birds seemed to be chasing the other two. The behavior seems to be classic courtship behavior of the birds, and I suppose that is exactly what is on the mind of the large bird.
This behavior went on for a time while we watched. The egrets jumping out of the water enabled us to identify the “golden slippers’ of all three egrets, a classic identification characteristic.
The smaller egrets, which we presumed to be females, were quick to get out of the way of the big dude.
The plumage of the egrets was quite showy, and we felt very fortunate to have found this group.