Great Egret (Egretta alba) in a Florida tidal lagoon
Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Florida
Nikon D200, f7.1, handheld, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 330mm, natural light
I remember clearly the day I photographed this Great Egret in a tidal lagoon at Fort De Soto, Florida. It was very hot and humid but there was a slight breeze coming in from the Gulf of Mexico, I was sitting in the water of the lagoon and the water felt cool against my skin. Tiny little shrimp were crawling on my legs and I wanted to laugh about that so much but didn’t dare for fear of scaring away the Great Egret.
I think that Great Egrets are beautiful though they can be difficult to expose the whites correctly. Here the morning sun helped me to keep the exposure under control without blowing the whites. This egret was either going into or coming out of breeding plumage as shown by the slightly green lores, in breeding plumage the green lores would be almost a lime color while in nonbreeding plumage they are more yellow.
I love how peaceful this image makes me feel and how the distant shoreline and sand dunes give this image a nice sense of place. I know it will always remind me of the great times I had photographing birds at Fort De Soto, one of my favorite places on earth.
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