Eastern Reef Egret, Lifer 352

It took 5 trips to Mallacoota but I finally found an Eastern Reef Egret, also called the Pacific Reef Heron. It is found along the east coast of Australia with its southern range ending around Mallacoota. While not rare along the east coast it has been my hoodoo bird. On my last trip in December I found one fishing on the rocks at Bastion Point and spent some time watching and photographing it. I took probably 400 photos and followed it along the exposed reef. It seemed comfortable with me sitting nearby and kept an exact flush distance. It briefly  moved to the outer rocks when a few off leash dogs ran along the beach but came back closer once the dogs moved on. I was happy that I had finally found my Reef Heron. Two days later I found it again with its partner – or possibly two different birds, at Secret Beach along the coast.

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Hopping from rock to rock looking for prey

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Occasionally getting swamped by waves

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

IV

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

V

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

VI

Eastern Reef Egret, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

With the prize

At Secret Beach, I found two Reef Egrets resting and preening at high tide.

Eastern Reef Egrets, Secret Beach, Mallacoota, Vic

Eastern Reef Egrets, Secret Beach, Mallacoota, Vic

While photographing the two Egrets I moved as close as I could without making them nervous. Moving a little closer I straddled two rock outcrops above a small inlet and tried to balance. I got quite wet when a wave came in and broke over the front rock.

Splash

4 responses to “Eastern Reef Egret, Lifer 352

  1. Great shots and narrative Malt. Dogs on the loose on beaches is a problem we face also, especially when large signs forbid it because rare birds inhabit the beach. Loved you photos of the dark morph. We only see these up in Cairns, always on the boardwalk both dark and light morph. So glad you got so close to them to get good shots of them hunting. They do appear to look and hunt like Heron more than Egret.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Malt, I love seeing what you find on your adventures. Recently, I thought I sighted one of these by the canal in Elwood. Does this Eastern Reef Egret have a near-cousin that resides near Elster Creek or bayside? Cheers, Helen

    Like

    • Hi Helen, yes along the Elster Creek we have a few breeding White faced Herons, a grey/blue bird that looks similar the Reef Egret but is a little skinnier and maybe a bit taller. It hunts frogs and fish and seems to be more in fresh water areas though I have seen them along the coast at ow tide as well. The scientific name for the Reef Egret is Egretta Scara while the White faced Heron is called Egretta novaehollandiae – so in the same family…nice observation Helen, I had not thought about that before.

      Like

  3. What a great find. Thank you for sharing

    On Tue, 9 Jun. 2020, 10:58 pm The Gap Year and Beyond, wrote:

    > Malt Padaderson posted: “It took 5 trips to Mallacoota but I finally found > an Eastern Reef Egret, also called the Pacific Reef Heron. It is found > along the east coast of Australia with its southern range ending around > Mallacoota. While not rare along the east coast it has been my” >

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s