This Great Egret was hanging out with two fishermen beside the Moyne River jetty at Port Fairy.
Usually these birds are observed from a distance as they quietly seek out frogs, tadpoles or other small specimens of water/ swamp dwelling life. Not this bird. It was right beside the fishermen who explained it had trying to steal bait from their fishing tackle all afternoon. At one stage it was standing on one man’s car when he hid the bait inside it. Either a very hungry or very tame bird.
It seems they had decided to share some bait with the bird when it clearly was not going to go seek its own food naturally and of course more was asked for. Maybe another consequence of changing conditions out there in nature.
I watched this Great Egret hunting for frogs at Karkarook Park in a neighbouring suburb last Sunday. It walked around the fringe of this reclaimed quarry (now a nature reserve/park) carefully and patiently seeking out a frog. I kept snapping away as it came closer. Suddenly in one second between me snapping images the bird darted its head under water , came up with a frog and swallowed it. At my local bird group monthly meeting the following Wednesday I heard copperhead snakes were seen on the pathways in this park the day I had been scrambling around in the reeds by the water. Copperhead snakes love to quietly lie in the reeds beside the water waiting for frogs. Last weekend was not a good one for the local frogs.