Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Blue Herons On The Move

I’d only seen one Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) fishing around the lake at Fort Yargo State Park this Fall. It seemed a little unusual but, since the water level had been relatively high during the Summer, it was likely that herons might have been in the more remote marshy areas around the lake.

I might have been right. Yesterday afternoon, I encountered three herons in close proximity on a newly exposed beach. I didn’t realize they were there. I spooked the first one, which flew away, before I saw the other two. A second flew away soon after leaving just one.

This heron wandered along the shore while keeping a close eye on me.

Unfortunately, it also felt a need to leave and flew across the lake just above the water.

It’s not unusual for herons to give an alarm call as they fly away. Interestingly, none of these did; they flew off silently.

Click on an image to view a larger image


Johnny Nutcase said...

Herons seem to flush so easily, I don't get it. Egrets don't seem to. As often as I see Great Blues, i only have a couple pictures of them. Glad you saw and were able to get some pics of these guys!

JSK said...

I take total responsibility for flushing these. I wasn't even expecting/looking for them. It was early afternoon but this beach was mainly shaded. I was probably less than 100m from them and the first one I flushed must have been quite close. It was then I saw the next two. One flew almost immediately and this one hung on just a little longer.
I also got the impression that these were younger birds than the one I usually see. They were almost 'flocking' which is also very unusual.
It was an interesting encounter.

Anonymous said...

Nice photo of the heron flying off - those big slow wings. I never tire of watching them.

Larry said...

I find Great Blue Herons fairly calm if you are able to come up on them slowly. It is the Green Herons that I find difficult to spot and therefore cause them to flush by my intrusion. I like the shots you got of the bolder bird.

JSK said...

I have a lot of luck - probably more than I deserve - when I'm rowing. I can spot them and drift toward them very slowly on the current or wind. Same thing with Green herons.

I think my problem on land is that they blend into the background on this beach and I don't see them on time. Spooked another couple this morning even though I was looking for them. Will have to keep practicing.