Thursday, August 2, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • July 30

Great Blue Heron. It was a remarkable walk along the creek this evening. Three Great Blue Herons, two Belted Kingfishers, and an Osprey! All these birds were active, too. In this picture there was a Belted Kingfisher calling an alarm due to my presence on the bridge, even though I was the better part of 100 yards away. This heron is looking up at the kingfisher as to say, "What's your problem?" It inspected the kingfisher for some time before returning to a more normal pose.

Great Blue Heron and White-tailed Deer. What a tableau! The kingfisher was out of shot to the upper left. The heron is now ignoring the little noisemaker as two fawns casually cross the creek.

Great Blue Heron. At this point I was stalking an Osprey that was calling in the immediate area when I looked up and saw my first juvenile Great Blue Heron of the season along the creek. Note the white skull cap of an adult is missing. There are also no shaggy breast feathers. Another sign of the changing of the seasons: the adult Great Blue Herons will now disappear from the creek (if they haven't already) until sometime late next spring and in their place will be juveniles that will persist until November and maybe even December if the weather is sufficiently benign. The Osprey? It waited in concealment until I was mere feet away and then with a loud cacophony both it and another nearby Great Blue Heron exploded into the air above me, both birds calling, as they flew overhead and then upstream and away.

Belted Kingfisher. This was a different kingfisher than described in the first pictures. It was intent on hunting the waters below, though it was also aware of me peeking through the leaves of a blind of trees and foliage.