Poor Mama Feeding Chicks

Great Egret Feeding Chicks at Gatorland by Lee

Great Egret Feeding Chicks at Gatorland by Lee

Yesterday we went back over to Gatorland to see how the chicks have been progressing. Here is a video of a parent feeding the growing chicks. I felt so sorry for her (I assume). It was an unexpected visit, because another plan for the day, of Dan’s, fell through. So, we decided to see how much the birds had grown since our visit in March. Needless to say, this should be the last on until fall. It was a BIT warm.

I still have articles and photos to show from our March visit, but an issue with my eye slowed me down. All is well now after a small laser treatment last week. My camera eye was blurry, but now all is clear again. So, stayed tuned as I try to get more tales out.

I guess because of my eye problem, I was so worried when one of the youngsters grabbed her beak and got mighty close to the eye. Because eyes are mentioned so many times in Scripture, here are a few promises:

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalms 32:8 NKJV)

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,” (Psalms 33:18 NKJV)

“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” (Psalms 34:15 KJV)

Gatorland Trips

Good News

Baby Egrets at Gatorland

On our latest trip to Gatorland, March 23rd, one of my goals was to see if any of the baby Great Egrets had hatched. Great Egret Nest – Gatorland.

Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee
Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland February 25th by Lee

As I expected, there were still some babies there, but it appears by the age of some of them, that many had already fledged. Yet, there were enough to check out. This nest pictured above, was right next to the rail, and to my dismay, it was empty except for one little fluffy chick that did not appear to be alive.

Great Egret with Dead Chick

I met Cathy McArthur there, and we were both watching this young chick. There was no breathing, so we both came up with the same conclusion. The reason I mention her name, is she has agreed to allow me to use some of her photos she also took that day.

There were plenty of other active chicks to try to get a photo of, but of course, I got my fair share of branches. :)

Baby Great Egret
Baby Great Egret
Another chick acoss the water
Two of the Great Egret Chicks by Cathy McArthur
Great Egret Chick by Cathy McArthur

They have quite the hair do’s, don’t you think?

“the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.” (Leviticus 11:19 NKJV)

Egrets and Herons are in the same family, Ardeidae – Herons, Bitterns, and therefore a Bird of the Bible – Herons member. Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns make up the Ardeidae family.

I did shoot a few videos, but they are a bit shaky because I was quite away from the nest. Here is one of them:

Stay tuned for more nesting birds. The Tricolored Herons and Snowy Egrets were busy preparing nest, laying eggs, and sitting on them.

Bird of the Bible – Herons

Ardeidae – Herons, Bitterns

Cathy McArthur

Birdwatching Trips Around Florida – Gatorland

10 Reasons Jesus Came to Die

[I attempted writing this post with just the Block Editor.]

Great Egret Nest – Gatorland

Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Just wanted to share a nest that we observed at Gatorland this week.  The Great Egret was standing and I was able to get a photo of the three eggs. Then I turned the video on while she inspected the nest and then settled down on the eggs.

After I had moseyed on down the boardwalk, I took this photo looking back at where I was standing:

Showing How close I was to nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Showing How close I was to nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

If you make it larger, you will see how close we can get to some of these nest. This nest was the closest one to the rail. It is always enjoyable to journey over to Gatorland during the nesting season.

“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.” (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 NKJV)

We left both the mother and the eggs alone. I’m looking forward to more days in the future to go bird watching. Lord Willing!

More to come on this latest trip to Gatorland.

Gatorland Again – February 2021

Good News

Great Egret by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan in 2020

“…O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalms 139:1-3 NKJV)

This Great Egret’s pose caused me to chuckle, but also to think about how their neck can be raised and lowered. “Up and Down” Egrets, Herons, and other birds with long necks seem to like to pull them down. Scrunch them!

At times, especially now, with so many things, like Covid, and other challenges of life, make us want to just go somewhere and hide. Here are a few verses I found about having ups and downs:

Great Egret by Dan at Gatorland in 2015

“I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’ “Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:5-8 NKJV)

Great Blue Heron Lake Morton by Dan

“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19 NKJV)

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan (2014)

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.” (Psalms 20:7-8 NKJV)
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20 NKJV)

[bolding and italics mine]

Trust these photos and verses are an encouragement for you today. Lord’s Blessings

Dan’s Pix

Wordless Bird – Green-tail Sunbird

Birdwatching and More Photos By Dan at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

My last post showed some of Dan’s photos he had taken, that were related to my previous post about Gatorland. I kid often about not knowing the difference from an “F-stop” or a “Stop Sign.” And it is true. I am not a photographer, just a Birdwatcher who takes photos of birds. That is what is so great about being a Birder. There are plenty of birds to go around, and it does not matter your reason for birdwatching.

Snowy Egret and Gator at Gatorland by Dan

Snowy Egret and Gator at Gatorland by Dan

Many of those who watch birds are super photographers, even laying on their stomachs to get just that “perfect shot.” Others, like Dan, enjoy taking photos with a really nice camera and lens, framing the bird, taking good photos, sharping them up. Some, like me, take photos left and right, discard many, and try to make them look half way decent, and placing them on a blog.

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Some birdwatchers, never use a camera, just binoculars and have a great time trying to see “how many” species they can identify. Others, see birds as they are just out and about, and enjoy them. There is room for all of us. No matter how we view the Avian Wonders that our Lord has created.

Here are some more of Dan’s photos from our last Gatorland visit in December. They are in a slideshow. [These have been compressed.]

What I enjoy are those Snowy Egrets with that concentration look on their faces. Dan captured it well, and I noticed that same look. Wonder what they were thinking about or focused on?  Humm!

Where is our focus?

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths.” (Proverbs 5:21 NKJV)
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,” (Psalms 33:18 NKJV)
“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.” (Psalms 34:15 NKJV)

You can see many of his other photos at: Dan’s Pix

Trust you have been enjoying these Gatorland posts:

The Wise Owl

Reflections and A House Ornament

Great Egret Reflecting off the pond by Lee

Great Egret Reflecting off the pond by Lee

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored. As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.” (Proverbs 27:17-19 NASB)

“When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction.” (Proverbs 24:32 NASB)

As you know, we have not been birding, or really going anywhere much lately. So, breakfast birding is becoming our birding adventures. Lately, when we go in and out of our housing addition, we have noticed quite frequently, a Great Blue Heron sitting on some houses. Of course, I have never had a camera ready or even in the car.

BUT, when we looked out, from the breakfast table, the other morning, this is what I saw. I grabbed the camera and took these photos:

Great Blue Heron on Housetop by Lee

Great Blue Heron on Housetop from breakfast table by Lee

I zoomed in closer, and sure enough, there the Great Blue Heron was on my neighbors house. Back in the “old days” we used to have hood ornaments on car hoods.

Hood Ornament on a Packard (Library of Congress PD)

Hood Ornament on a Packard (Library of Congress PD)

This Heron is making a great “House Ornament.”

Great Blue Heron on Housetop by Lee

Great Blue Heron on Housetop by Lee

Great Blue Heron of Housetop by Lee

Great Blue Heron of Housetop by Lee

“For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” (Luke 12:2-3 KJV)

Well, it’s back to relaxing until the next Breakfast bird/birds show up to entertain us. In the mean time, I have been working on my Geneology.

LEE’S ANCESTRY ADVENTURES

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

Wild Glory

What a gift the Creator has given us! The world and all its psychologists wring their hands looking for relief from distress and anxiety. They drown their fears in medications. But the child of God need not do so. For a simple walk out the door to behold the “Wild Glory” of the Lord brings comfort and peace.

“They looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared.” Exodus 16:10

Great Egret; birding photography in Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

In his autobiography, W. Phillip Keller, author of the popular A Shepherd Looks at Psalms 23, describes a troublesome period in his youth when he is separated from his family, his home, and even his God. Yet it was brief escapes into the wild that renewed his faith. He writes, “In the outdoor world my heavenly Father had supplied a sweet solace for a struggling soul like mine. There was healing for my inner hurts in the quietness of the woods and fields. There was a consolation for my spirit in the wild glory of grass and birds.”

Great Egret fishing behind my office in Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

When the phone rings off the hook and workplace stress builds, I too need some “wild glory.” And thankfully, the Creator sends it! Each year in late July, a Great Egret returns to the pond behind my office in Georgia. And right on schedule, I saw him out there fishing this week. Standing still and erect, his head cocked to peer into the shimmering water under his long legs, he slowly coils his long neck to finally unleash a quick thrust for a small minnow or larger bream. His appearance isn’t just on schedule with the calendar, but on schedule with my need for some calming from this hectic life.

What soothing; what peace; what intimacy with the Savior can be achieved just by beholding the creation of God! The psychologists can keep their prescriptions. I’ll dose myself with Wild Glory!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe Part II

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Our gator adventure has been keeping me from using my bench, but we still have lots of birds to watch. Just from a safer distance. In Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe, I explained why I haven’t used my bench too much yet. The talk of the neighborhood, “our own gator,” brings visitors to the water. As I mentioned before, we don’t get to see it most of the time because of the embankment.

When he [or she] moves more to the middle of the water, then we get to see it. When we came home from church, Sunday (5-17), there he was. We both grabbed our cameras, which we now keep at the table by the door. Here is what I saw:

Dan taking a photo of the gator and me taking of photo of him.

Dan taking a photo of the gator and me taking of photo of him.

Then I zoomed in on what he was taking a photo of:

What Dan Was Photographying by Lee 5-17-20

What Dan Was Photographying by Lee 5-17-20

We still have that Variant House Finch stopping by. He feeds at the feeder up by the door. Much safer there. The sun was shining brightly, and it made him almost glow. Here a few I took a few days ago:

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Also recently, the three species I mentioned in the first post, we spotted though the door on May 16th. Here are a few more closeups:

Great Blue Heron close up

Great Blue Heron close up

“And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.” (Leviticus 11:19 KJV) – Don’t Eat List

Great Blue Heron with neck bent in S

Great Blue Heron with neck bent in S – Sandhill Crane in foreground

Great Egret 5-16-20

Great Egret 5-16-20

I know these are not the greatest photos, but I sure do enjoy seeing so many interesting birds to watch, and even the alligator. Stay tuned for a video I shot this morning.

Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe

Birds of the Bible – Herons

Birds of the Bible – Cranes

Wordless Birds

 

From My Window

View Though Patio Door

I apologize for the lack of post lately. We recently purchased a new home and have been in the process of moving. Needless to say, the computer was packed up and also moved. When we finally got it up and running, the internet went down in a hugh area.

We haven’t moved in years, and this has been quite an experience. It is amazing how many things that can be re-discovered while packing or unpacking. It is also amazing, how things we packed haven’t been discovered yet. Boxes, Boxes, Everywhere Boxes. :)

So, that helps explain the lack of blogs [actually none] for awhile.

Our new backyard has a retention channel behind it about 40 to 50 feet across. While we are eating, we can see that area and have enjoyed building a list of birds seen from the table.

Great Blue Heron on other side

A Great Blue Heron has visited and sat on the other side several times. The Snowy Egret walked along the bank with his yellow feet showing. A Little Blue Heron also came by about the same time a Tricolored Heron took a stroll along the bank.

Great Blue Heron on our side

We have also seen a couple of either female Mallards or Mottled Ducks swimming in the water.

Almost forgot the Great Egret that visited.

Great Egret through screen

The yucking Muscovy Ducks seem to own this pond and yonder bank. There is a group of ten of them swimming and resting everyday, so far. [We have been here one week now.]

“Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” (Psalms 116:5 KJV)

The Lord has been very gracious to us and we thank Him for our new house and the energy that we’ve somehow found to move. We only moved about four miles, but it is still very tiring.

Great Blue Heron on our side up close

I can’t wait to see what we will see through our windows and door as the “Winter” birds stop by. Lord willing, there should be posts again soon.

Good News

Gatorland’s Taxi Service

Great Egret on Alligator at Gatorland 3-8-16 by Lee

You have seen these photos before, but don’t remember sharing the videos of the Great Egret and Great Blue Heron using

Gatorland’s Taxi Service.

To say they are somewhat nuts is mild. It is amazing how some mixed critters seem to get along, though.

We always enjoy our trips over to Orlando to see the activity. Sometimes weird and other times fine. The first video shows the Egret trying to let the gator to start moving.  :)

“By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.” (Psalms 41:11-12 KJV)

Gatorland Birdwatching Trips

 

 

Gatorland’s Fearless Egret

Brave or Crazy Great Egret Gatorland by Lee 3-6-18

He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.” (Psalms 18:17 KJV)

Brave or Crazy Great Egret Gatorland by Lee 3-6-18

“Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.” (Psalms 64:1 KJV)

 

Great Egret Preening at Gatorland

I love watching the Great Egret with their long flowing feathers. Today the breeze was blowing gently and was able to catch this beautiful Great Egret on Video. Enjoy!

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” (Psalms 91:1-4 NKJV)

These photos were also taken:

Great Egret at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland

Great Egret Feathers at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland

These photos are on the Flickr Site. Still testing.