Saturday, April 12, 2014
Egret Series No. 5.
Great egret (Ardea alba), in Norfolk, Virginia.
Please click photo for full view.

Egret Series No. 5.

Great egret (Ardea alba), in Norfolk, Virginia.

Please click photo for full view.

Egret Series No. 4
Please click for enlarged view.

Egret Series No. 4

Please click for enlarged view.

Egret Series No. 3.
Great egret (Ardea alba), in Norfolk, Virginia. Male egrets are responsible for most nest construction. They will present building materials to their mates for approval before weaving them into their coarse nests. Finished nests will be up to three feet wide (90 cm) and a foot deep (30 cm).
This bird’s wings are almost fully extended - with a span of about 55 inches (140 cm).
Please click photo for full view.  

Egret Series No. 3.

Great egret (Ardea alba), in Norfolk, Virginia. Male egrets are responsible for most nest construction. They will present building materials to their mates for approval before weaving them into their coarse nests. Finished nests will be up to three feet wide (90 cm) and a foot deep (30 cm).

This bird’s wings are almost fully extended - with a span of about 55 inches (140 cm).

Please click photo for full view.  

Egret Series No. 2. Grooming.
Please click photo for full view.

Egret Series No. 2. Grooming.

Please click photo for full view.

Egret Series No. 1.
I returned this morning to the great egret (Ardea alba) rookery in the Campostella Heights neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia. During nesting season it never disappoints. This year the colony seems to be a bit smaller, with only about 40 pairs of adults. The birds also seem to be a bit behind schedule with nest construction, possibly due to our harsh winter and the late arrival of spring. I didn’t observe any completed nests, nor any signs of egg laying. I did see a lot of squabbling for prime nesting branches in the loblolly pines, and a lot of extravagant “come-hither” plumage displays. And sex. Lots and lots of great egret sex took place this morning - enough to make a young photographer blush. 
Please click this photo for an enlarged view.
My egret photo sets and commentary from 2011 and 2013 can be viewed by clicking the links. 

Egret Series No. 1.

I returned this morning to the great egret (Ardea alba) rookery in the Campostella Heights neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia. During nesting season it never disappoints. This year the colony seems to be a bit smaller, with only about 40 pairs of adults. The birds also seem to be a bit behind schedule with nest construction, possibly due to our harsh winter and the late arrival of spring. I didn’t observe any completed nests, nor any signs of egg laying. I did see a lot of squabbling for prime nesting branches in the loblolly pines, and a lot of extravagant “come-hither” plumage displays. And sex. Lots and lots of great egret sex took place this morning - enough to make a young photographer blush. 

Please click this photo for an enlarged view.

My egret photo sets and commentary from 2011 and 2013 can be viewed by clicking the links. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Destiny, manager at the Brew Thru - a specialty drive-in shop selling a huge variety of beer, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Brew Thru operates four other shops in the Outer Banks. 

"We’ll start getting really busy once the weather warms up. I like working here at night, with the breeze blowing through the store. It looks so pretty with the neon lights and the beer cases all lit up." 

Fleeing the surf: sanderlings (Calidris alba), and an immature ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) at Coquina Beach, in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina.

Fleeing the surf: sanderlings (Calidris alba), and an immature ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) at Coquina Beach, in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina.

Top: Bodie Island light.

Middle: Charter boats at Oregon Inlet.

Bottom: Dunes and sea oats, covering the wreckage of the schooner Laura Barnes

Shingle.
Most of the Outer Banks beaches are composed uniformly of very fine golden sand. Occasionally the wind and surf will scour and deposit small stretches of sturdier stuff, like these pea-sized pebbles and polished bits of shell.
At Coquina Beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina. 

Shingle.

Most of the Outer Banks beaches are composed uniformly of very fine golden sand. Occasionally the wind and surf will scour and deposit small stretches of sturdier stuff, like these pea-sized pebbles and polished bits of shell.

At Coquina Beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina. 

And thus ends my OBX excursion - a near perfect day in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Today I offer 1 impressionist seascape, 1 pebbly beach, 3 black and white experiments, 4 sanderlings and 1 stray gull, and 1 drive-through liquor store. 

And thus ends my OBX excursion - a near perfect day in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Today I offer 1 impressionist seascape, 1 pebbly beach, 3 black and white experiments, 4 sanderlings and 1 stray gull, and 1 drive-through liquor store. 

Monday, April 7, 2014
Vacant purple martin house, on the causeway between Nags Head and Roanoke Island, North Carolina.

Vacant purple martin house, on the causeway between Nags Head and Roanoke Island, North Carolina.