Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Egrets and Sandflies

Great white egrets are pretty friendly.  On one occasion one even fed from my hand.  When I got that close, I was astonished to see how many sandflies attack the area around their eyes.  In the photo below, I was drifting downstream in my row boat and can within about 10 m of a great white egret, standing in the bright afternoon sun in front of a dark mangrove forest.  With a good superzoom camera, I could take a photo of the egrets face, remembering to underexpose by about two stops to compensate for the extremely bright white feathers.  Even the wings and legs of the sandflies are visible on the original seven MB image.  The sad part is that the egret must remain motionless and just endure the sandflies if it is to catch fish.  Sometimes you can see that the egret is suffering.  They live a life of intense concentration and I am sure that sandflies make things really hard.

Egreta alba
Face of a great white egret about one minute after it landed

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