before the storm

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9.2.16 ~ juvenile laughing gull

Five days ago there were a lot of birds at the beach, perhaps getting ready for Tropical Storm Hermine… I had some fun trying to identify the different stages of life of the laughing gulls…

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9.2.16 ~ non-breeding adult? or first summer? laughing gull
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9.2.16 ~ non-breeding adult? or first summer? laughing gull
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9.2.16 ~ non-breeding adult? or first summer? laughing gull

We had a few gusts of wind which ruffled some feathers…

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9.2.16 ~ laughing gull with feathers puffed up from a gust of wind

I wondered if the cormorants would be staying out on their island during the storm…

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9.2.16 ~ cormorants on their exclusive off shore island

The baby great black-backed gull wondered if we would be handing out a french fry. Tim had unintentionally dropped one recently, renewing hopes for some of the younger birds…

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9.2.16 ~ juvenile great black-backed gull

My friend knows better — he’s content to visit with us. 🙂

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9.2.16 ~ my herring gull friend with the mangled foot

We also saw a great egret — they don’t often come this close, preferring their island in the middle of one of the salt ponds.

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9.2.16 ~ great egret

The swan’s pond has mostly dried up due to the drought…

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9.2.16 ~ swan

Sharing the estuary by the sea wall, we were amazed to see eight snowy egrets feeding with the great egret, the swan and a flock of Canada geese!

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9.2.16 ~ swan and snowy egrets
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9.2.16 ~ great egret, snowy egrets and Canada goose

The calm before the storm… Hermine gave us mostly gale force winds and drizzle. Several branches and many leaves and twigs came off the trees, but no trees were uprooted in our vicinity. That was more than enough excitement for us!

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9.2.16 ~ swan and Canada geese

8 thoughts on “before the storm”

    1. I don’t remember when great egrets started showing up here – I never noticed them years ago when my kids were small. But this is the first summer I’ve seen snowy egrets.

  1. Glad you guys were not hit hard by the storm, we are still feeling its effect here on the Gulf coast. Beautiful birds! I like the swan and snowy egret picture in particular.

    1. Thank you, Tiny! It’s unusual here to see so many different birds together in the same spot, although that’s the normal state of affairs in your salt marsh. It does seem like the Gulf coast bore the brunt of Hermine. I wish you guys got a little less rain and we got a little more of it. 🙂

  2. I am so glad you didn’t have too much trouble from the storm, and that your friend with the mangled foot is still visiting. 🙂 I saw a great gathering of egrets (Great, Snowy, and the little Cattle Egrets) along with some Glossy Ibis, and gulls. It was amazing.

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