|View of the rookery at Harris Neck NWR. I couldn't even fit the whole scene in one shot.|
|Some nesting Wood Storks and Great Egrets|
|I loved how you could see the wispy Great Egret plumes sticking out from the nests.|
Well, finally, we had some obliging Great Egrets! Last weekend we went to Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge about 60 miles south of Savannah. We were told that this is THE place to go to see breeding Wood Storks and Great Egrets. It was indeed, and it did not disappoint! The main stop along the wildlife drive is a spot of open water with a shore and scattered little islands full of trees just teaming with nesting and courting Wood Storks and Great Egrets! This rookery was a magnificent spectacle! We could just see tons of white birds as far as the eye could see. Some had already settled down and were starting to incubate, others were still building nests, and yet others were still courting.
|Pretty good shot digiscoping with my iPhone and Zeiss scope.|
I didn't get THE ultimate shot that I wanted, but I got pretty close. Ideally, I would have wanted to see a Great Egret head on, doing its display dance, and showing off its beautiful plumes. Instead, I got a less desired position of its backside, but still showing off its gorgeous, delicate-looking feathers. So for now, I'll take it! This one egret in particular was a good subject as he was the closest and not only showing off his plumes, but also giving a little dance. It was definitely fun to watch as he would spread those lovely wispy plumes in a circular fan, bend his legs, and elongate his neck, hanging it low and then whiping it high with his bill pointed straight up. Then he'd do a sultry little sway from side to side, shimmying his fluffy white plumes as to say, "Hey ladies, look what I can do <wink wink>."
|Doin' a little dance, hoping to make a little love. Gettin' down tonight!|
|Great Egret displaying his gorgeous plumes.|
|Displaying Great Egret|
|Another avian friend seen here - Swamp Sparrow|
|I believe there were Yellow-crowned and Black-crowned Night Herons getting ready to nest here, too. We saw this YCNH and then we just kept seeing them speckled in the trees.|
|Just a pile of baby gators.|
I'm very happy to have seen a displaying Great Egret, not to mention the great numbers of other nesting egrets and Wood Storks. We also got a look at some other reminders of baby-making season - an assortment of baby alligators. There were groups of young gators of various ages hanging out close together at the bank of the lake leading to the rookery area.
|Baby Gator face off.|
|A different view of the faceoff.|
|Close-up of a baby gator|
|This little guy is trying to blend in, but he doesn't fool me!|
If you're ever in the area during nesting season, Harris Neck is definitely the place to go. And it'll have you saying, "Show me your plumes!"