Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Egret entropy

I've written before about our local wetland - the Nedern.  In the winter the fields flood bringing in a range of winter wildfowl and waders, and look like a lake rather than the huge puddle it is.
Through spring and summer the land dries out to a variable extent, some years like this one becoming completely dry.  There comes a time when the lake has reduced to a series of small pools and that is when the opportunity to snap the local egrets presents itself.  I am amazed at the sheer number of sticklebacks that end up concentrated in these pools, bringing in the birds.

So it was a few weeks ago the accessible pools were 'just right' and I went down early morning to see what might come in.

First visitor a wagtail, followed closely I was pleased to see by a pair of lapwing. 
The the first of 2 egrets drifted in.  As I wasn't using a hide, just lying under some scrim I wondered if they would spook, but at times they were too close for me to focus. 

There was quite a bit of plant material determined to spoil the view, but I got a few shots of the birds stalking ........

and then striking.  Interesting to see the eyes still open mid-strike.

I've always loved the concept of entropy.  If you ignore the thermodynamic definition the easiest way to think of this is the inevitable process of order descending into chaos.  If you leave them alone things fall apart - always. My favourite shot of the session shows an egret appearing to do just that, as it shakes post preen.

You can see why the milliners loved the plumes.

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