Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great Egrets in flight...

Birding Hilton Head Island, SC and Pinckney Island at the Ibis Pond Rookery
The slow graceful winging of a Great Egret overhead is one of the most beautiful sights any birder can hope for.
In this photo the sun lights the feathers from above and renders them translucent, also revealing the skeletal wing structure of these gorgeous birds (which cools me out to no end...).

With nearly five feet of wingspan to play with, a Great Egret can create a bit of drama at every take off. He seems to be thinking, "I am gorgeous. I am beautiful. Angels weep with longing as they covet the wonder of my wings..."
(Great Egrets apparently do not suffer from low self esteem.)

...coming in for a landing.

...bright white feathers contrast sharply with the deep greens of the pond as the Great Egret eyes an ideal location to land and forage for his next meal.

Silently skimming across the water...

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35 comments:

Lois Evensen said...

Absolutely gorgeous images!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great pictures, Kelly.. The Great Egrets are GORGEOUS --and HUGE.... Love them!!!!!! That last one with the reflection is great!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Birding is Fun! said...

Cool!

Margaret Bednar said...

..."angels weep with longing as the covet the wonder of my wings". WOW. I thought the first photo was fantastic, and they kept getting better. Applause, applause...

Anna said...

Wow Kelly how do you get so close to them. Stunning collection, as always. Anna :)

Elaine said...

I love all of these!! The reflection shot is wonderful and the first shot is very cool! I think there must be magic in the air on Pinckney Island.

Nicole MacP said...

Awesome pics! Love the reflection shot, very "circle of life"! ;)

Kerri said...

Oh wow .... makes my heart skip a beat! Super super shots!

Chris said...

Wow superb collection Kelly. I love the last one a lot....with the reflection on this green water it is gorgeous. I kind of miss them... We could see some in southern France when we lived there.... Maybe one day they will reach Iceland, the grey heron is now over here...

Kitty said...

The overlap of its feathers is just soo perfect! And the shadow of its bones is such an added bonus. Yeah, the one downside of such big birds is that they need as much room as an aeroplane when it comes to taking off!

Valerie said...

Beautiful imagery! Never knew that egrets and herons are in the same family. Your photos - sent me on a journey to learn a little more about each group. Learn something new every day!!

Very well done!!

forestal said...

truly jaw dropping images. thanks for sharing.

dan

Jayne said...

So pretty. Love seeing that splash of green above the bill!

Wanda..... said...

OMGOSH! Kelly, your photos are so vibrant and life-like, they give one the same gasping sensation, as if seeing it live themselves! The last photo is so spiritually moving for me this morning! BEAUTIFUL!

Montanagirl said...

Kelly - what can I say??? These shots are just "Fabulous"!! Wonderful wing action, the colors, everything.

holdingmoments said...

Superb Kelly. Such a beauty.

Busy Bee Suz said...

They are so beautiful and graceful!

Deb said...

How gorgeous! Your pictures are amazing Kelly.

JKoenig said...

Those are all SPECTACULAR (hope I spelled that right)!!!

I gasped for air when I saw the first one, and they just kept getting better. You were so blessed to be there and catch that beauty in your lens. WoW!

mick said...

Fantastic in-flight photos!

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

Outstanding. Great shots!

Hilke Breder said...

Exquisite images, Kelly.

Out on the prairie said...

Beautiful birds to watch. I liked the translucence of the first and the symenterical shape in the image and reflection of the last.

Kjell T. Evensen said...

I have to repeat my wife's words regarding these images:
"Absolutely gorgeous images!" :)

Roy said...

What an amazing sight Kelly.

Chris Petrak said...

I never tire of photographing the GREG. So photogenic. Your first photo with the back light on the feathers, and the luminescent detail is super. And I love the composition of the 4th, with the head only partially showing. I usually look for the eye in a photo, but that photo makes me think I should look beyond that as other features. And previous post - love the kinglet & nuthatch. Got their essence!

Shelley said...

It's like watching an angel in flight! Beautiful photos!!!

Larry said...

Fantastic photos of the Great Egret Kelly. I have been enthralled in this post and your previous posts of the Black-crowned Night Heron to th e point where I just realized I'm going to be late for work!

Your photos and posts are so mesmerizing that I totally lost track of time. I will have to come back and comment on all of your beautiful photos.

NatureFootstep said...

you really got some grat shots here. You are lucky to get that close to them. :)

I agree about the stork chicks. Really noisy surroudings. :)

sage said...

absolutely beautiful!

dreamfalcon said...

awesome photos!

Kelly said...

...Wow! Thanks, everyone for such wonderful, kind comments! Can you believe how gorgeous the egret's wings are? I'm sure egret's wings and angels go hand in hand in art. A long time ago, an artist somewhere must have made the connection! :-D

Carol Mattingly said...

The last is my favorite. Carol

sunflowerkat321 said...

I love the first one with the sun shining through the outstretched wing feathers. It's a lovely set of egret photos.

Kat

Tammie said...

incredibly gorgeous captures! I love the translucent nature of the first image.