There is a Great Egret nightly roosting spot on a lake down the street from me that doesn’t seem to attract any visitors but me. Each evening right at sunset, a stream of large, white egrets fly in to roost in one particular set of oak trees bordering the lake.
The egrets circle the roost a couple of times before gliding into roost in the tops of the trees. With the early evening sun behind me, their white shapes stand out against the sky.
Flying into the sun as they circle the lake, the white shapes turn to dark ones.
Some fly right over my head as they glide in for a landing.
Birds land in one spot but may scramble around for a few minutes trying to find just the perfect spot to spend the night. There are a lot of croaking vocalizations among the crew as they settle down.
Sometimes there are disagreements about whose spot it is. Erect neck feathers indicate the state of agitation in these two birds, as they threaten each other with those sharp beaks.
It’s rare to find an egret roosting in the open, free of branches and leaves.
Even rarer to get a shot of one framed by the last remnants of the sunset.
With their breeding season completed, these birds will probably stick around for a few more weeks, fattening up on the local frogs and fish in nearby lakes, before heading south for the winter. When I see flocks of egrets like this flying around, I realize the number of summer days is quickly coming to an end…