Egrets, grebes, and pelicans in Pine Bluff

Egret at Saracen Lake

This egret, as far as I can tell, does not stray more than 25 yards or so from his favorite clump of tall grass near the launch ramp on the south shores of Saracen Lake in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Said egret has become a dependable target.

In the last few weeks while making more than a few trips to Saracen Lake here in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to photograph our nice flock of wintering pelicans, I kept noticing an egret who likes to hang around a clump of tall grass near the launch ramp. Despite the fact the pelicans were the target of record, I have never been one to refuse a target of opportunity. The egret was just that. So during pelican lapses, the egret provided relief.

Pelicans on Saracen Lake

Click the pic for more pelicans

Though we are showing you a few pelicans in this post, you can get the full pelican treatment on the Corndancer Dot-com Photo of the Week page where this story started. You will see 20 pelican pictures. While you are there perusing pelicans, we will bide our time here awaiting your return.

The egret was nearly a mind reader. He stays in the general area where he was easy to spot but presents a different look with each visit. Sometimes a slightly different look and sometimes a dramatic difference. Can this bird read an art director’s mind? It appears to be so.

White egret in front of dark waters on Saracen Lake

The white egret makes a dramatic entrance against waters turned dark by angry skies.

Egret in tall grass near the shore line of Saracen Lake

Now the egret returns to his favorite tall grass clump from a different angle.

Egret on lauch ramp at Saracen Lake

This time the egret wades up the lake boat launch ramp just as the sun begins to set.

Peruse the pelicans

For several years now a flock of American White Pelicans have seen fit to winter on Saracen Lake. There are a few of us who are fans of those big birds and many other folks have more than a small interest in them. They are fun to watch and there are no commercial interruptions or requests to take the garbage out. According to informed sources, these are the nation’s largest flying birds. Find out more about these pelicans on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com.

Pair of pelicans landing on Saracen Lake in late aternoon

This pair, fresh from exploring other parts of the lake, make a landing and are about to bog up for the night.

Two pelicans and a sea gull swimming together on Saracen Lake

This pair of pelicans is swimming home. They have been joined by a gull who probably thinks the big birds are headed toward food.

Pelican flying low over Saracen Lake

I have observed many pelicans flying “limbo style,” across Saracen Lake: They seem to be trying to find out how low can they go.” This bad boy has a wing tip barely touching the water. He could be the prize winner.

Pelican flying from Saracen Lake  colony

Here’s a pelican “leaving for work.” The one in the lower right seems to be saying, “Bubba, bring home some extra fish.”

Gobs of grebes

If you watch the goings-on of lake critters at all, it won’t be long before you notice some small brownish birds, probably in the neighborhood of really small chickens size-wise. They are excellent swimmers and world class divers. You watch one or more happily swimming along, then as fast as you can blink your eye, the little dudes dive. Now you see ’em, now you don’t. There’s no telling where they will surface. There may be something of interest to odds makers here.

A few of the grebes came into effective long lens range and I was fortunate to make a few captures. The birds are “Pie-billed Grebes.” There are also “Horned Grebes” on the lake, but those have successfully evaded my surveillance thus far.

Pie-billed Grebe on swimming Saracen Lake

Here’s a Pie-billed Grebe with a few drops of water on its back left over from the last dive.

Pie-Billed Grege

This Pie-Billed Grebe, also replete with water droplets is about to take a dive.

Pie-billed grebe diving

There he goes! Take quick look at this grebe’s tiny butt. A fraction of a second later, only ripples remained. Where the bird would surface is anybody’s guess.

Two grebes swimming on Saracen Lake

Just another day in paradise for Mr. and Mrs. Grebe. They are taking turns on the diving duties.

Well there you have it. Another adventure from LA (lower Arkansas). This is good entertainment. For the price of a little gas and a few minutes of your time, you can watch time-honored, honed-to-perfection performances from world class feathery, floating athletes. If you are not near a lake,  stay tuned. This is not our last visit.

Thanks for looking.

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind








One Response

  1. […] year for water birds at Saracen Lake here In Pine Bluff, Arkansas – the last good year for birds. Click here or on the egret above and see our December 7 post with lots of pelicans, grebes and […]

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