Cattle Egret, Bulbucus ibis

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Maria Sanchez Lake

Maria Sanchez Creek once ran a lot further North into St. Augustine, then Henry Flagler started building hotels, and the creek was filled, to where it ends today, in Maria Sanchez Lake. The lake is shallow and not large, there is a spillway at South Street to keep the lake reasonably full at low tide. South of there the creek meanders through the mudflats, to the ICW. On a tide change you can often find examples of several different water birds, Cormorants and Anhingas are often there, Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets are common. These two don't get along, they compete for the same food, there will be some distance seperating them. They both tolerate other birds, the Little Blue Herons and the Night Herons are crab hunters, for the most part, the big guys will tolerate them.
The birds are usually approachable, if you do it right, slow and easy.
Look to the South of the spillway too, the Roseate Spoonbills and White Ibis hunt there at low tide. You may also see an Osprey there.

HERONS EGRETS

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