Not sure why… but I always seem to hear Irving Berlin’s “Steppin’ Out with my Baby” whenever I see the Snowies in the marsh!
I was driving to the marsh last evening, certain that the light was fading much too fast and the air too chill for anything to be out and about.
And then – out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of white!
A seagull? No, too tall for a gull.
Or could it BE? A Snowy? This early?
I pulled the car over and hopped out, my heart racing and my camera ready.
And there he was, a Snowy! And those glorious white feathers such a contrast to the matted brown marsh grass that framed him. He looked a bit tousled and dazed, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Red River creek was his very first stop.
How I have been longing for the these elegant, whimsical harbingers of spring to return. They are for sure one of my very favorite summer marsh companions and I have missed them since their fall departures.
And this clever one spotted me right away, I had but a moment to steady my trembling hands for a shot.
One click, then two, and up, up, and away he flew!
Almost as if he’d never been there.
I’ll be looking for you, dear Snowy, you and all the others as you return to this, your Cape Cod summer home! 😉
There’s nothing I love more than ending my day with a trip to Mill Landing, and yesterday’s visit did not disappoint.
Perhaps a tern eyeballing what the willet’s fixing for dinner…
Welcome to Monday Best!
Presenting my pick this week, the Snowy Egrets of Mill Landing!
I saw the large flock of Snowies feeding the other morning down at the Mill. It felt like the first time when I discovered them many years ago. They stole my heart then and here I was captivated by them all over again!
Known for being vocal, I could hear them even before I spotted them, talking amongst themselves in the shallow channel water as the morning sun backlit their every elegant move. It’s like watching the Nutcracker ballet in the middle of summer!
I must have been photographing at least twenty individuals, each one casting its stunning reflection on the shallow water as they slowly moved forward, sideways, and back again. It was so beautiful that I had all I could do just to hold the camera steady!
Snowies have a most unique fishing method which seems to fit their personalities to a T. They literally flush out tiny fish below the water’s surface, using their yellow feet to chase them up, up, up and then – gulp! Oh, to be an underwater camera to see those fancy feet so gracefully at work…
With the occasional dust up over mates and territory, that is… 😉
I continued to snap picture after picture of these elegant beauties, the water twinkling like diamonds all around them as they fished. I had forgotten all about the heat as these magical snowy creatures transported me to a place in my mind that was cool and calm…
The feathery plumes on their necks and back, called aigrettes, were once used for decorating ladies’ fancy hats. I, as a milliner, am proud to say that I never use any bird feathers in my designs. The feathers that allow these and other birds to soar and fish so magnificently look far better on them than they ever could on my hats! 🙂 (You can read more about this in my blog, For the Birds)
Which I am sure, will be soon. 😉
We have five amazing contestants in today’s Sunday Best competition!
Contestant #1… the Great Blue Heron, seen striding slowly through the wetlands like some stately English gentleman in a blue-gray suit, surveying his domain.
Contestant #2, the tiny Sanderling, scootling in and out of the waves in search of his breakfast, a fast-moving, hard-working little fellow who’s tough to keep up with!
Contestant #3, the Snowy Egret, our whimsical white feathered dancer who is known to flutter up into the air on a moment’s notice, pirouettes and all!
Contestant #4, the Green Heron, whose rusty brown feathers provide the perfect camouflage as he fishes quietly in the shadows of the muddy channel banks.
And last but not least, the Great White Egret, a statuesque wading bird whose S-shaped neck, bright yellow bill and long black “silk stocking” legs make him a sight to behold!
And there you have them, a dazzling lineup for you today!
Please leave your comment in the Reply Box and let me know which one gets your vote today for Sunday Best.
And thanks for visiting me here at Images of Cape Cod!