15 Minutes Can Make a Difference

Early on Saturday morning of Labor Day Weekend I read a post on IN-Bird by Joni Jones about seeing Great Egrets leaving their roost at 7AM. I had planned to go to the local wet area around sunrise at 7:17AM, but changed my plans after reading her post and instead arrived at 6:45AM. And I’m glad I did because those 15 minutes made a difference.

As seen on the first photo of the day, the local wet area is packed with geese, ducks, and herons.  6:59AM

Here are counts at 7AM:

  1. Canada Geese – 500
  2. Mallard – 250
  3. Green-winged Teal – 1
  4. Great Blue Heron – 22
  5. Great Egret – 16
Immediately after the count the Canada Geese started flying east to feed elsewhere for the day.  7:07AM
In group after group of approximately 25 birds they kept coming off the water.  7:07AM
Within 10 minutes the numbers had dropped drastically.  7:09 AM
combs-9 15 minutes
It only took another 4 minutes for the numbers to drop another 50% leaving maybe 10% of the birds which had been present 15 minutes earlier.  7:13AM
COMBS (10)
I stopped by later in the day and there wasn’t a bird present. – 3:06PM

The moral of the story is to get there even earlier then planned because if I would arrived at sunrise I would have seen 90% less birds.




On Labor Day morning I stopped by to check for shorebirds. There were a couple of shorebirds but more unusual was the presence of the resident Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons

And they were sitting!

When I first pulled up to the wet area there were egrets and herons present, but something didn’t look quite right??
What made it look unusual was that the Great Egrets were sitting on the ground and on their “ankles”.
I honestly don’t recall ever seeing egrets and herons sitting on their “ankles”.
Maybe it was a good way to keep cool and take a nap in the mid-day heat?

In case you’re wondering the heron’s “knee” is hidden up under their feathers. The part they are sitting on in the photos is more like our “ankle”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *