A Snowy Spring

I love this time of year because wildlife returns and is visible all around my neighborhood.

Today, many of us watched along the shoreline as several whales spouted in the distance. They seemed to be having fun, blowing up small clouds and twisting at the water’s surface. They were right by Kettle Island, a seasonal heron rookery off Magnolia (Gray) Beach in Gloucester. Egrets can be seen flying overhead in my neighborhood, and gather at the local pond in numbers. They are quite beautiful and their white feathers surreal against the muddy browns of the pond. But nothing beats a surprise, a special visit.

 

Last week, I stopped by Little River, a popular spot in Gloucester n the other side of Magnolia. At first I did not see anything but within a few minutes, a Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) flew in from nowhere and landed nearby. It started hunting casually as I watched quietly from the bank above the river.


Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret Fishing

If you observe the Snowys, you’ll notice they hunt a little differently than other herons. While their larger Great Egret and Great Blue cousins tend to stand still, Snowys use more jerky movements and are much more hyperactive overall. This breeding adult jumped and waded, spearing its share of small fish.

Snowy Egret

 

Snowy Egret Fishing

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret Catching Fish

Snowy Egret Catches Fish

We had a beautiful time, down by the river, and I even think I saw him smile.laugh

Beautiful Snowy Egret

Snowy takes a moment to reflect on the day.

 

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