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Hello.

I've been to Fort De Soto a few times now (Januaries only), and I've
never failed to witness a nice reddish egret show in the lagoon behind
the beach near the northern end of North Beach.  The show in the
lagoon has not always been constant - the egrets do come and go - but
I've had excellent views of either red or white morphs - or sometimes
both - dancing for their food in the shallows each time I've been
there.

On Jan 23rd, I was lucky enough to have both red and white morphs
often in close proximity, which did make for a literally surprising
photographic opportunity -- while I was peering through my camera's
viewfinder at a white morph, unbeknownst to me a red morph descended
towards it, which I only became aware of when the red morph touched
down along the left border of the camera's field of view.

I put a gallery of some of the photos online to share with anyone who
might be interested at
http://fredw.smugmug.com/Animals/FtDeSotoReddishEgrets100123/11290825_z9XBC

The first few photos show the white morph apparently starting to react
to the incoming reddish morph, the significance of which was unknown
to me until I finally saw the red morph join its fellow reddish egret.
The two birds then proceeded to dance and prance while feeding,
sometimes together and sometimes separately.  Interestingly, I never
detected any apparent aggression between the two egrets, even while
hunting very close together, often probably chasing down the same
quarry.

I think the ~luckiest~ photo probably was
http://fredw.smugmug.com/Animals/FtDeSotoReddishEgrets100123/11290825_z9XBC/1/792262125_ztw7e/Large
but my ~favorite~ images are
http://fredw.smugmug.com/Animals/FtDeSotoReddishEgrets100123/11290825_z9XBC/1/792278532_3jkxc/Large
and
http://fredw.smugmug.com/Animals/FtDeSotoReddishEgrets100123/11290825_z9XBC/1/792262168_nqdRv/Large

It is amazing how close to the sunbathers the birds feed, as shown by
http://fredw.smugmug.com/Animals/FtDeSotoReddishEgrets100123/11290825_z9XBC/1/792278567_3STnN/Large

Keep Lookin' Up !!!

Fred (Frederick Wasti)

Mostly in Marshfield Massachusetts (but in Lakeland FL for January)

fred @t cetussoft d0t com

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