I recently returned from traveling 9,000 kms to Alberta to photograph landscapes and wildlife. Just a few days after my return, Brenda - one of my neighbors - spotted an unusual bird in the pond behind our houses. Brenda, always observant, has in the past alerted me to some very interesting bird species and this one was no different. I went out and discovered three Great Egrets (Ardea alba) feeding in the pond!
The Great Egret is a large, slender, white heron, with a long neck and dark legs. In North America, the species has been expanding its range northward in the past century. The Great Egret is known to breed in southern regions of Manitoba, as well as in the southern regions of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. What was so fascinating about this particular encounter is that I was able to walk up to 10 feet from it and capturing some great closeups. Usually, you are lucky to get within 50 feet of one before it takes flight. It's amazing what you can find in the backyard!