Friday, February 8, 2013

Heron on Ice

While running errands yesterday, I stopped here and there to look for, and at, birds.

One of my favorite spots is a wide stream that glides through a lovely piece of woods (slated to be cut down for a road) and feeds into the River. I stop here in all seasons. Just lovely.

I had walked across the street to take some photos of the striking patterns of light and dark in the ice that partially covered part of the stream.

When I turned back to the truck, I saw something that I had missed just moments before:

See it? At the edge of the water, below that marvelous golden vegatation?

A heron.

Using the truck as a blind, I was able to get a few blurry shots.

This is a juvenile Great Blue Heron, less than a year old. Adults have striking slate-grey-blue plumage, with black, white and buff accents. Young ones like this one have streaky grey-brown plumage. It blended in so well with the surrounding vegetation that I missed seeing it earlier, though I think it had stepped out of a hiding place to get a better look at me.

The young heron was standing quite still on the ice, moving only once or twice in the ten minutes or so that I watched it.

Birds can remain motionless for long periods, usually in order to conserve energy.

D's reaction to these images: "Dinosaur."    :-)

After taking a dozen photos, I went away and left it alone. I knew it would have a hard night ahead.

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