Sunday, August 17, 2014

Three in the pond

I looked out this morning and saw this on the far side of the pond

Even with the binoculars I couldn't really make out the bird on the left, but it was standing there watching the one in the water and I figured a youngster watching mom or dad.

Until I took a photo at 50X zoom then blew it up to the point of grainy.

Then it was clear, sort of anyway, that the watching bird was a Green Heron and clearly the one in the water wasn't.  I guess the Green Heron was either very polite and waiting for the other bird to finish up, or was pissed that someone else was in his territory and was giving the stink eye.

But if that was the case it was having no effect on this guy

who I suspect is a White Ibis caught in the middle of morphing from juvenile to adult coloration.

At first glance I wanted to call the third bird in the pond this morning a Cattle Egret, but they're pretty much never seen in water up to their ankles let alone up to their knees like this and this guy has been hanging around for several days now, always in the water. So after some research I have decided this is a juvenile Little Blue Heron that will start darkening up later this year. Hope he hangs around so I can see that.

Though we are 100 miles from the nearest salt-water beach, near which many of these wading birds build colonies, we have been seeing more and more of them around our place. Since many of them prefer a diet of freshwater creatures I'm wondering if the extended drought is pushing their preferred snack further inland as saltwater starts invading the freshwater and brackish marshes closer to the coast.

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