15 November, 2020 Furtive Great Blue Heron
Some birds around here are sneaky. You can hear yellow billed cuckoos or eastern towhees all day long and never lay eyes on one. Great blue herons – at least before today – are not sneaky birds. But the flooded James River sent Mackey and Turner and Yuki and me over to Bryan Park this morning, and I suppose this heron was not used to our unsubtle approach. It slunk into that dense thicket – in the direction of water – as we approached. In my experience they’re showy and leggy and if they don’t like the company they either wade into deeper water or flap those big wings and fly away. But this one was furtive. A first in my experience.
I was going to call this blog post “Old friends and new.” Great blue herons are so un-subtle, I see them every week. But we had our first ever Pine siskins (Spinus pinus) appear on our feeders Thursday. Very exciting! We had a lot – easily a dozen, possibly more. This is the only decent image I got – they caught me off guard:
If you’re in Richmond, you’re aware our big river is much bigger than normal. A normal day when we’re hiking the river is around four or five feet deep. It crested around midnight last night solidly over eighteen feet. Which means the entire trails and parking lot were under two feet of water or more. So we went to Bryan Park:
There was still a gardenia blooming on Cary Street Tuesday afternoon!
Pine siskins weren’t (obviously) the only birds on our feeders this week. We have lots of goldfinches, and the bluebird dropped in – always a treat:
I should have gotten them to pose for this picture – they were sweet together. But Yuki was over here for a little while after our hike today. They touched noses and were very kind to one another and interested in what the other had to communicate. Or so it appeared:
Speaking of mid-November flowers, I photographed this rosebud in our backyard this afternoon. The forecast is for a hard frost Wednesday and Thursday morning but we’ll see:
I’m looking forward to getting back on the riverbank!
Have a great week,