Friday, May 10, 2013

BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON


Oops - sorry.  That's not a night heron.  He's a great blue heron.  Don't know what came over me.
The shot above is a black crowned night heron.  I've always been very interested in this bird as they are not commonly seen on a daily or even weekly basis.  Sometimes I don't see them for months at a time.  One reason for this is that they are primarily nocturnal, coming out of the foliage when the sun is setting.
I saw a flurry of feathers at the shoreline near some washed up logs as I cruised past an island in the middle of Cherokee Lake today.  The color of the birds was odd in that the birds appeared gray.  I never thought black crowned night heron as they are usually viewed singularly and near evening time.


Closer inspection with binoculars verified they were night herons.  What a find!  Night herons are usually seen alone and here was what appeared to be a flock of them.  There were so many of them that some of my shots captured two birds unwantedly.  See below:
I have posted a lot of shots of this beautiful creature on this entry and tried to select different poses to alleviate reader boredom.  To most viewers this bird is just a pretty bird, but birders will understand my excitement - not that I'm a birder yet.  I'm a pilgrim birder.



 Right after the picture above was taken, he took a step and the toes of his right foot overlapped the toes on his left foot.  Then, when he went to take the second step, he couldn't extricate his foot out from under his right foot and he started to fall off the limb.  It was funny!  He extended his wings to catch his balance and remove his foot.  I laughed out loud.  So, the picture that follows is not of a gorgeous black crowned night heron taking flight.  It is of a black crowned night heron covering up a bit of clumsiness.   
Ah - back to normal and looking regal and splendid again.

These photos were taken at slow shutter speed and when he launched from the limb - I thought I botched the shot but, it came out,  well, sort of.  Hey - nobody's perfect.  I posted the shot even though it's a sorry looking picture.

I smiled when I saw these ringed billed gulls.  They reminded me of three guys lost at sea on a raft.  Told ya - I have a vivid imagination.
That's the day on Cherokee Lake.  I'm off tomorrow and I'll see what kind of trouble I can get into.  The rain has just started to fall and the windows are open on the truck.  Gotta go.  See ya later.
 Above:  My office
Cormorants