Saturday, January 18, 2014

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret. San Diego River Mouth. January 11, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Snowy Egret is rather a rare bird in Oregon. I've seen them there at least 21 times over a period of 40 years, according to my eBird records. The first was at Pony Slough, Coos Bay, Oregon in December 1977. The most recent was at Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove, Oregon in August 2004. Most were at Malheur NWR on annual spring pilgrimages to this birding mecca.

Otherwise, it had been 5 years since my last visit to San Diego when I last saw these birds,... until we moved here last fall.

Now I see Snowy Egrets nearly every time I go out to watch birds--any place there is water. They are the most widespread and common of the egrets in the San Diego area. All large bodies of fresh water have a Great Egret or two. And there are a few areas that have flocks of Cattle Egrets. But Snowy Egrets are more widespread and common--not huge numbers, just widely distributed on the shores of marshes, lakes, estuaries, and marinas.

They also seem less wary than other egrets. That makes them irresistible photography subjects!

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret. Lake Murray, La Mesa, California. October 6, 2013. Greg Gillson.