Interesting Morning at the Bashakill

Giant Swallowtail on Haven Road

Giant Swallowtail on Haven Road


Well you could hardly call it morning. I didn’t arrive there until 10:45 following a trip to Apollo and Morningside. The usual suspects were in those locations, nothing new. Once I arrived at the Bashakill, things picked up. I found two of the juvenile Common Gallinules right along the bridge where they can often be found if there hasn’t been too much noisy activity. They showed well for some time. I started to walk down Haven just about thirty feet when a GREAT EGRET came out of the vegetation. It is hard to imagine how high the vegetation is until you realize its been hiding a bird of this size. A second Great Egret emerged just a moment later. I took a couple of shots of the birds when they each flew off, one further out in the marsh, the second just across the street to the Beaver Lodge. Walking up and down the road, I spotted a couple of Wood Ducks and a Great Blue Heron, eventually three of them. As I neared the bridge again, I saw that the Egret near the lodge was trying to catch something at the waters edge. It shortly came up with a six inch Catfish. To my surprise, the bird flew right over to the road with it, landing on just the other side of the bridge from me. I watched for a while as the bird managed the fish. It couldn’t initially swallow it due to the pectoral fins. They lock solid and the fish won’t go down. The Egret eventually maneuvered the fish until it had it by first one and then the other pectoral fin. It eventually broke both of the fins and was able to swallow the fish. It was an amazing sight. The Egret then walked down to the water and took a drink. Les from the Winery stopped and watched the whole event with me, and was likewise amazed. The Egret remained, walking all around us, posing for photos. The gallinules eventually worked there way back into the vegetation as the Egret ate the fish. I started walking along the road again, and was pleased to find my first GIANT SWALLOWTAIL of the summer! It too posed for photos. It was an enjoyable hour at the Bashakill!
The Great Egret lands on Haven Road only twenty feet from me with its catch.

The Great Egret lands on Haven Road only twenty feet from me with its catch.


The egret worked its way down the bank, stopping to break off the pectoral fins and swallow the fish.

The egret worked its way down the bank, stopping to break off the pectoral fins and swallow the fish.


After swallowing the fish, the egret walked to the water and took a drink. It rested there for the next 15 minutes before flying out into the marsh.  It was very confiding throughout the entire event.  Les even walked past the bird to meet me and it never flinched.

After swallowing the fish, the egret walked to the water and took a drink. It rested there for the next 15 minutes before flying out into the marsh. It was very confiding throughout the entire event. Les even walked past the bird to meet me and it never flinched.


Another shot of the Giant Swallowtail.

Another shot of the Giant Swallowtail.

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4 Responses to Interesting Morning at the Bashakill

  1. Kathleen Ashman says:

    What a cool experience to have had!

  2. scott baldinger says:

    Wow John that is really cool watching that egret figure a way to eat the catfish!! I wanted to tell you that Paula and I had a Giant Swallowtail in her garden yesterday afternoon!
    Scott

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