Today I found myself laying on a grassy slope in the sun, using my zoom lens as binoculars to stare at the newly discovered tree full of Egrets by my house. I don’t know why I am so fascinated with the birds near my house, because I’m not a birdwatcher. I think it’s just my ever expanding appreciation of my zoom lens. The entire area underneath the tree is sectioned off with that cloth-like orange fencing, and up close it’s like the backyard of somebody who raises poultry. I guess it is very much a sanctuary. A sanctuary for long legged birds that like to stare at you with great suspicion, while also trying to act invisible.
All of these quiet little egrets live in a peaceful little world inside of the tree. An umbrella-like canopy stretches over their whole breeding area, and they peak in and out of the sunny treetops to quibble amongst each other, or stand around looking noble as only Egrets can. Just below the highest leaves is the nursery layer, with huge messy nests housing both of the kinds of Herons that live in the tree. I stood underneath the tree and admired these sweet, quiet birds until one of them noticed me and started bitching at me. Even the bitching was somewhat peaceful and lazy. I quietly moved over to another part of the tree and continued watching them through my lens. Look at all the nests:
This one pictured below is another kind of Heron. I guess Egrets are a type of Heron, and a woman who was standing next to me was telling me that the sanctuary is really set up for the darker Heron, and that the white Egrets just settled in too. I can see Egrets doing that. Staring, staring, and slowly moving in on that lovely tree, and then looking over at the other Herons like, “what?”.