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White Morph Reddish Egret
A friend, Neil Gunnar Berg, recently took some great photos of water birds, and wrote about his experience in his blog 1410 Oakwood. With his permission we share his work here.
published March 2017

White Morph Reddish Egret
all photos by Neil Gunnar Berg

Lorna was down on South Padre Island spending a few days with her sisters who are not birdcentric, so she did not even go birding at all. Whaaa? Family more important than looking at birds? I was going to go down to retrieve her back to Alamo on Wednesday, but a package from Amazon was delayed for a day. The package contained a Nikon D5500 camera body. The D5500 has been superseded by a D5600, which has pretty the same specs with more bells and whistles, so the D5500 was decently priced. This set is from my first outing with my older Nikkor 55-300mm lens mounted on that new camera body. I am quite satisfied with the results. Issues are mine, not the equipment's.

Called and found that Lorna and her sisters were out walking the beach and we were to meet at Padre Brewing for lunch, so I headed directly to the Birding Center. The birding Center is actually a fancy building to the side of the sewage treatment plant which releases treated fresh water into the Laguna Madre. The resulting little freshwater to brackish streams are filled with tiny fish and the birds love it.

Cattails had overgrown the place over time and were choking the streams so this month they came in with heavy equipment to remove some of them and dig out the small ponds. The fish and birds don't seem to mind a bit, but the Rails that hide in the cattails are now more distant and harder to see, let alone photograph. These photos are not in any particular order, but I tried to group photos of the same species together.

At first the white egret/herons are a little confusing; there are Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets, then we have little Blue Herons which are white the first year, in Florida there are white morph Great Blue Herons. Oh yeah, there are Cattle Egrets, which came over from Africa - even flocks out on the lawns here in Alamo. The first two photos are first because it is a white morph of the Reddish Egret. It is a male coming into breeding plumage, probably its first year because the lores and upper bill are still rather dark - whatever, it is a rare and beautiful bird.