Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FINDING THE GREEN HERON

I was on Cherokee Lake this morning and had the opportunity to drive up Poor Valley Creek to it's end.  It's been a rarity this year to be scheduled on Poor Valley Creek and I looked forward to it.  I had seen green herons along the Eastern shoreline a couple years ago and I was excited to get up there for a look.  I have not photographed a green heron this year, although I've seen them as they passed by in flight.  The shot above was taken on Poor Valley at it's uppermost reaches.
And yes, it is overcast.  What else is new?
I'll keep this entry short as I need to get some sleep.  I've been running around like a nut getting things in order before leaving on the bike trip to Pennsylvania.  I had to buy dog feed for the dog sitter's pay, mow the grass, and I worked on the bike big time to make sure it is up to the task.  It's a long way up there via the Blue Ridge Parkway and I checked everything on that motorcycle that I could.  It's ready.  Now, if only the rain will go away.  I will not leave in the rain.  Just will not.
This is green heron territory alright.  There are a lot of blow downs along the shoreline and that's exactly what green herons desire.  They patrol up and down those pieces of sun bleached wood, constantly looking into the water for unsuspecting minnows as they slowly creep along.
There he is being crafty and stealthy.

He moves cautiously and as stealthy as possible slowly raising and lowering each foot with precision.

He is trouble on the move to any tiny critters in the area.  He sees all creatures that moves or has color and he is lightning quick with that spear of a beak he wears on the front of his face.  Green heron's spear fish as well as grab them.  Night herons never spear their prey, preferring to grasp it between their upper and lower beak parts.
There goes the light.  A cloud blocks the light at the most inopportune moment.


The above shots are a bit underexposed due to the overcast situation that just occurred.  Not real bad and I decided to post the shots.
He's a handsome fellow.

He's the first green heron I've photographed this year.  Guess that makes him a celebrity.
I photographed the back of a black crowned night heron to show how the white plumage that appears like a white rubber band, lays against his back.  This piece of plumage will rise from the back of his neck when he's excited and will fall to one side or the other.

 It's so dark back in this cove that I'm amazed these pictures are usable.
The scenery is top notch up at the top end of the creek.  The water is maintaining a depth of around 4 feet, but it can't last.  I turned the boat around after taking the following shots.



The shots appear bright and cheery despite the dismal overcast situation.
One more green heron came into view.
Can you see him?  I would have missed the little guy had I not used binoculars.


That's about if for today and I'll stop this entry here.  Hope you liked Mr. Green Heron