Southampton Photographs – Great Egrets and Duck Blind, Shinnecock Bay

A worthwhile excursion by sea kayak (assuming the winds are cooperating) takes you from the landing east of the Shinnecock Canal over to the marshy area which backs up to Meadow Lane in Southampton. The bay is shallow, easy to cross and is a place that’s full of expectations for rare birds.

Early on the morning I took this picture, getting over to the beach was no issue. The sky had intriguing color and there was a captivating chill in the air. Once in the marshes, I spent some time floating about in the vicinity of the old boathouse. I was occupied by short paddle strokes and subsequent long glides over mud banks which were pleasantly stuffed with mussels. It’s the quiet in places like this that appeals the most– and I was trying to keep it that way because I had a hunch that something interesting lay ahead.  I’d packed my camera in a dry bag just in case and the bag was stuffed under my spray skirt.

Just west of the boathouse I suddenly came upon two Great Egrets sunning on top of a duck blind. These birds are by no means rare in Southampton, but good photographs of them are– especially if the photographer is nervous about keeping his camera dry and isn’t looking for reasons to capsize his boat. They watched with suspicious eyes.

With a bit of luck, I managed to locate my camera, change a lens, brace myself with a paddle float, and capture an image just as the birds flew off.

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