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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Sep 19, 2012

Fall migration and a feast for the eye

Clouds meet pond

Fall migration is turning out to be awesome for me this year in more ways than one.  I sincerely hope it is the same for you. Usually fall signals a time that is somewhat dreary and sad for me. There seemed always to be less of everything. Less green, less light, less birds etc., but since I took note of how much there is, that is beautiful and bright last fall and winter, I seemed to have adopted a different sense for the season. Not only that, but I am also taking note of more, simply because I am actively looking. This year I see the beautiful contrast, the bright colors, the difference in light and the changes that the season is bringing are a feast for the eye.  For some reason this is especially true at dawn. 

I'm out and about early on any given day and although dawn is arriving later, I still enjoy exploring some of my favorite spots, and I do so love watching the sun come up.  This week I have been getting some wonderful surprises because I do so.    The following is just one example.
Immature Black crowned Night Heron
As I was taking photos of this bird, all the while asking myself what it was, the sun was rising in the sky behind me.

Circling the pond
I startled him into flight as I began taking photos of some Yellow rumped warblers in a nearby tree.  He had landed behind me, with me totally unaware, and now circled the pond several times, providing me with some awesome photos.

In flight with Gull
On the far side
The dawn light was soft and beautiful as you can see.

On the opposite side of the pond
Unfortunately, when he landed, it was on the far side of the pond.  My photos turned out clear enough though to help me identify him.  It turns out that he is an immature Black-crowned Night heron.

Immature Black-crowned night heron greeted by two species of Grebe
Hunting for food
Two species of juvenile Grebe went to check him out when he landed, they have been at the pond for more than a week now, although they disappeared for a little while on the weekend.  They seemed to watch him with great interest.

Two Grebes in flight
When I startled the little heron into flight, he in turn startled the little Grebes into flight.  It was delightful to watch them fly.  Although these photos didn't turn out so well, their open wings clearly revealed by their color and pattern that they are definitely two different species of Grebe.  I've never seen any species of Grebe in flight before.  Have you?


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