It’s a lucky thing to get a Great Egret and a Snowy Egret in the same picture frame. I had that luck this morning over near the Schoolhouse Creek outfall in the southeast corner of the North Basin. As I clicked, the Great caught a fish, and I was able to watch how the bird repeatedly squeezed its prey until it stopped moving, and several times dipped it into the water, before finally sliding it down the hatch. It reminded me a bit of how a cat plays with a mouse before finishing it off.
This corner of the North Basin featured not only these two egrets, but also a swarm of little Least Sandpipers, a Belted Kingfisher sitting on a wire, and a family of Mallards. Later I scanned the putative Burrowing Owl preserve in the park, but my bird luck had run out. A ground squirrel sunning itself on top of a big flat rock there was the only action I saw there at around 10 am.
The two kinds of egrets are easy to tell apart. The size is the obvious difference. Then, the Great has a yellow beak and all-black legs. The Snowy has a black beak and black legs but bright yellow feet.