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Date:   Mon, 21 Nov 2005 22:27:46 -0500
Reply-To:   James R Brooks Jr <jrbamc@JUNO.COM>
Sender:   Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:   James R Brooks Jr <jrbamc@JUNO.COM>
Subject:   11/21/2005: Heron vs Egret (Henry cty)

Noonish, standing down by the lakeshore watching 'our' Great Egret on the far end of the small lake, about 100 yards away. Standing in one spot, and catching fish frequently in the small area it was in. Wondering how long this egret will continue to hang around here.

Also nearby a Belted Kingfisher was rattling, and then I noticed a Great Blue Heron standing on another bank, about 50 yards from the egret. It stood hunched over a bit, seemingly watching the white bird feed. The kingfisher flew about a bit then went back to it's perch. Suddenly the heron took flight, generally towards the egret. Indeed the heron went straight at the egret, diving slightly, but the smaller bird leapt out of the way and flew up the lake towards me, then landed on the far bank directly across. The heron had landed up on the shore a bit and stood there looking back down our way, but did not take over the egret's fishing spot. I had kneeled down when the egret flew down, and now it flew up from the far bank and came even closer, landing on the far side of the opening to our little backyard slough. I was trying to keep still, hidden a bit by now bare shoreline shrubs, and the bird stood within 50 feet. It fed a bit but seemed nervous. Far to my left some sort of loud splashy fracas then erupted between a couple of Pied-billed Grebes near where the heron had once stood, and turning to look I spooked the egret and it flew up and then around a bend and landed out of sight. The heron still stood on the bank up the lake, having run off a competitor but still not feeding in the now vacant spot.

It is getting rather late seemingly for this egret to still be here, despite the abundant prey in the shallows. I wonder if it will make it to December ? Does anyone have late dates for Great Egrets in the south metro area (from Huie maybe) ?

James Brooks east of McDonough (Henry cty) GA

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