I brought you a gift, my love

This male Boat-tailed Grackle nabbed a bait fish from a fisherman’s net at the Jensen Beach bridge causeway and flew over to the shrubbery where he ate about half of it then dropped it near a female grackle.

She picked it up then ate the rest, and possibly fell in love with a handsome thief.

Compare: Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egret

At first glance, these two birds belong in the “white heron/egret” category of wading birds found at water’s edge. Snowy Egret, I thought, before I took a good look.

Jensen bridge.

We were doing that fun John-and-Amy thing where we drive around in our old Jeep with a fishing rod in back. We stop now and then, here and there, for John to cast a few and me to snap a few.

Birds on the seawall and down on the rocks were watching bait fish move in with the tide.

Not the same bird.

These two were close together on the wall.

I got a good look at the legs and feet, bills and lores, and realized one was a Snowy Egret (left) and the other a Little Blue Heron (right), a species that is white as a juvenile.

Snowies have black bills with a yellow patch, or lore, between their beaks and eyes, and yellow feet with black legs (mostly all black, but sometimes just black on the front of their legs!) Young Little Blues have gray-green legs, darker gray-to-black bills that are slightly thicker.

Both are in the Ardeidae family (herons, egrets, bitterns) and the Egretta genus of medium herons mostly breeding in warm climates.

Egretta thula

Looks like somebody was drawing with chalk where this Snowy Egret is standing! I like the yellow feet with the yellow flower.

Egretta caerulea

Little Blue Heron, not a Snowy Egret! Someday this bird will be a lovely, moody blue-gray-purple color, but not yet.

Here’s an adult Little Blue Heron, from photos I took last March.

Osprey wings

Osprey soars over the beach on Hutchinson Island a couple of days ago.

These large fish-eating raptors have a wingspan of four-and-a-half to six feet. They weigh between two and four-and-half pounds. That seems like a lot of wing for the weight!

Is the beach big enough for these two sanderlings?

The blog had a sleepy summer, but now it’s fall and we are on the move again.

My husband and I were driving around in the Jeep yesterday. He brought a lightweight fishing rod and I brought my camera. On Hutchinson Island, we parked at Beachwalk Pasley and went over the small dune to visit the beach before the storm.

No fish for my husband but I observed something I’ve never seen before, a short battle between two initially-peaceful Sanderlings who seemed suddenly to decide the beach was not big enough for both of them. It was like a cockfight in miniature, between a couple of birds weighing about 2 ounces each.

The battle suddenly resolved in a truce and the warriors resumed their rest.

Or are they lovers rather than fighters? Could it be a dance of a mated pair? So hard to tell!

We left as a storm was moving in from the south.