Missing at McGinnis

I had a run of no Internet access over a few days, but I’m up and running again… A few weeks ago, there were several reports of a Little Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret at McGinnis Slough, and since it’s a place I’ve visited often enough I rearranged my schedule, such as it is, and decided to have a look. I wound up going a total of four times. I never saw either of the reported rare birds, but I did see something different on every visit.

On August 9, the most amazing thing to me was the number of Great Egrets. Years ago when I first visited this place I felt like I could always count on seeing a lot of egrets, but in recent years I have never encountered such numbers as I did on this date. I estimated, conservatively, 110.

When I first got arrived, everything was engulfed in fog. I was too early!

As the fog began to lift, creatures started to appear.

A Damselfly – it might be a Sedge Sprite
A juvenile male Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Wood Ducks were present where they usually are located, but barely visible save for the whites of their eyes.

A Great Blue Heron flew directly overhead in the fog.

A break in the vegetation revealed two distant Sandhill Cranes. You can click on the gallery images for slightly better views.

There were Wood Ducks in the aquatic plants.

I have no idea how I captured this Killdeer in flight.

Then the Sandhill Cranes flew right by me.

Farther away, an Osprey appeared, for good measure.

Below is a view after more fog cleared, revealing the overgrown marsh.

European Starlings were flying around and then landing to feed.

But really the visit was spectacular because of all the Great Egrets and the Great Blue Herons flying by. All those little distant white dots in the second photo below were likely all Great Egrets.

And closer were several in the trees.

There were not nearly so many Great Blue Herons but I did get some nice looks.

After the fog lifted, I managed to find a juvenile male Wood Duck perched.

There were American Goldfinches enjoying the seed heads of some spent flowers.

We are in the midst of what I hope is our last heat wave of the season. I will try to make the best of it by swimming and blogging. I also have to practice my choir parts, as we are singing songs in Swahili and Italian next Sunday.

I’ll be back with the rest of the McGinnis visits shortly. There are fewer photographs so I can wrap them all up into one post.

4 thoughts on “Missing at McGinnis

  1. Nice job working through all that fog and haze to get some nice pictures. I do remember years ago seeing such large numbers of Great egrets at the slough. The birds are starting to gather in numbers to migrate south. Glad to see you got your new modem and are back up and running.

    • Thanks, Bob! All those visits to McGinnis turned out okay after all. It’s really hit or miss but it can be a great place for migrating flocks to gather. If I were only 7 feet tall it would be an unobstructed view. The fog proved interesting.

    • I was really happy to see so many egrets at this place. It’s been years. When there was more water they spent more time at the slough, maybe even breeding there. So now it’s just catching them on their gathering for migration.

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