Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ding Dong

Do you ever get the urge to go and do something? I bet you do - well, this morning I had the inkling to visit Ding Darling - I had no idea what the tides were and thought: "What the heck!" ... it will either be low or high .... but either way I figured it would be a nice drive through. 
Right after the toll both - on the left - a Yellow-crowned Night Heron was busy pruning and resting in between. It was hot already and the YCNH could be seen panting - a cooling tactic.

Well, it turns out it was high tide with incoming tide - and at the Tower I see not one but two Reddish Egret.

I watched as Ding #2 heads over to Ding #1.

For those of you who don't know - ARCI (Avian Research & Conservation Institute) has installed solar powered satellite on a couple of Reddish Egret, the first one (Ding #1) sports a band on its left leg and Ding #2 has one on the right leg. Equipped with these tracking devices, ARCI can keep track of where the Dings go, how far, how often etc. I've often seen one or the other but never in the same corner, so I watched with wonder as to what would come next.

Ding #2 kept on getting closer to Ding #1.

Ding #1 came a tad bit closer when Ding #2 arrived....

They faced each other and then continued on their own paths....sort of like saying...."Hello" "Goodbye".

Ding #2 proceeded with pruning while...

Ding #1 started feeding. This was rather interesting - The Reddish Egret is the rarest wading bird in the U.S. and because it is a highly specialized feeder, it is ecologically restricted to a very narrow coastal habitat making it vulnerable to human impacts....and to see two of them together made that all the more fascinating. You can find more information at

Then, as I exited the Wildlife Refuge, I spotted a Brown-headed Cowbird - Overall I must say that it was quite an interesting hour.

Any day birding makes for a great day.

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