It is not every day that a Great Blue Heron tolerates one’s presence from just across a small pond. But then, it is not every Monday afternoon that one finds oneself in a position to test the tolerance of Ardea herodias, no matter how unintentionally. But, on my vacation day from work and an off day for Daisy from classes, we did just that at the north end of Alley Pond Park, after a couple of trains and a bus ride down Northern Boulevard. While we watched, the heron made moves like it was going to thrust that dagger-sharp bill into the pond but every effort was aborted. Apparently the prey in the pond were warier than the heron.
After enjoying the heron’s presence for long enough (really, is that possible?) and the mosquitos’ presence for far too long, we continued along the trail, seeing some warblers, some mimids, and some thrushes, but none so impressive as the familiar Great Blue Heron.
Great pictures! Are the pictures from the pond at the Alley Pond Environmental Center? I was there last week and access to the tidal creek was blocked by construction of a drainage system.
If I do a big day I’ll start at APEC, walk west on Northern Blvd to Oakland lake, walk south through the section of park that runs along the expressway and then end with birding at the ponds in the main part of the park. If I’m really adventurous I’ll go instead to the section north of Northern Blvd. The tidal flats there have lots of birds, but seeing them means a long walk there and walking out on the flats.
Man, herons are wonderful, aren’t they?
And those are some great shots. They really capture the heron experience.
Great shots. I have seen many Great Blue Herons in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio.
Nicely done, Corey. Good pics of a juvenile! Great Blue Herons are truly my favorites.
Beautiful photos! Heron is my favorite (if I have a totem, it’s him). As familiar as they are, their voice always takes me by surprise. As I say in a poem:
“The voice of the heron
carries the rasp of pterodactyls,
and other, older, unknown flyers;
it is an unmarked watery grave
that reaches out suddenly with taloned fingers
and startles the man swimming alone
among cattails and imagined turtles …”
author of The Moon Cracks Open: A Field Guide to the Birds and Other Poems
Corey, I not only love your photos, and I am a long time lover of Great Blues, but I am so thrilled to hear your subtle plug for public transit as you outlined how you got to the pond. Fantastic. Congrats.
I am excited to be going north, from Alabama,this week -for a family wedding- but along the path will be some of my old favorite birding spots including a rookery in Ohio along the Cuyahoga River. And a couple of bald eagle wintering places near here. I won’t be doing photos though. But I will be watching for fall migrations among the autumn leaves. Thanks for your inspiration.