Snowy egret

In morning light dappling through trees as the sun climbs above the horizon, my favorite spot on the lake bustles with activity.  Diurnal nature yawns and stretches and climbs from bed as a new day starts; its nocturnal counterpart slips under the covers and settles in for restful sleep.

Sunset Bay punctuates the hour with hunting, preening, bathing, grazing, and all manner of activity engaged in by the wondrous life that calls this place home.

A snowy egret (Egretta thula) wading through the shallows at White Rock Lake (20080614_06577)

This snowy egret (Egretta thula) in breeding plumage spends much time wading near shore in its hunt for breakfast.

A snowy egret (Egretta thula) standing in the shallows at White Rock Lake (20080614_06584)

It keeps me rather busy trying to follow it since a great deal of brush and reed growth forces me to dash to and fro seeking a place where I can take pictures.

A snowy egret (Egretta thula) standing in the shallows at White Rock Lake (20080614_06590)

Many times I see it strike the water; more than a handful of times I see it succeed in catching prey.

A snowy egret (Egretta thula) standing atop a log at White Rock Lake (20080614_06598)

Both an active and passive hunter, sometimes it stands still and waits for food to venture within reach and sometimes it moves quickly through the shallows stirring up food by shuffling its feet along the bottom.

A snowy egret (Egretta thula) hunting in the shallows at White Rock Lake (20080614_06613)

Rarely still for more than a minute and always in those places where I have no direct line of sight, eventually I leave the bird to its meal and wander toward the next adventure.

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