It is always interesting to see these birds use their wings to shield their eyes from the glare on the water and improve their chance of catching the small fish and minnows they are stalking. I was able to get a few shots of the Tri-colored herons doing this, and a great series of shots of one of these guys stalking and catching a small minnow. See below. I became aware of an alligator close by the Herons when one of them walked up close and looked curiously into the grass. The gator moved out into the open and the Heron continued to follow and watch. The birds showed no fear, but kept a safe distance. I have read that shorebirds have a somewhat symbiotic relationship with the gators because the gator's presence keeps other predators away.
While watching the Herons, a few Snowy Egrets flew in. These are such pretty birds, I can't resist taking a few pictures when I see them.
The action heated up when a small flock of White Ibis showed up. They were feeding in the marsh when a couple of them discovered an eel trapped in a shallow pool maybe a half foot deep. They were able to get the eel out onto the mud and the fun was on. The birds fought over the meal for at least fifteen minutes. Whoever had the eel was running from all the other Ibis who were in hot pursuit!! The winner finally felt the eel was subdued enough to swallow, which was accomplished in about three gulps!! This was an interesting show and I hope the photos below give you a sense of the action!
I returned to the hotel and the boys wanted to go :look for alligators", so, after breakfast we went back and they were able to spot 8 in the area. They were thrilled to see the gators!