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Aug 11, 2011

More Herons ~ lots more

A Black-crowned Night Heron comes in for a landing at the Holland Marsh near Bradford today.
A Great Blue Heron in a very green world
An immature Black-crowned Night Heron retreats from the canal to dine on a small fish it caught.
The Holland Marsh rivers are favourite fishing spots for more than just herons.
I returned to the Holland Marsh today to try my hand at seeing more herons.   I was not disappointed.   The first heron I saw today was once again a Black-crowned Night Heron in the same spot I spotted one yesterday.   I thought that might be it for today...the same bird.   Over the course of the next hour I came across 10 Black-crowned Night Herons.   It was once again around the noon-hour and I was starting to feel a little foolish for saying just three days ago that this was a bird best seen around dusk.   All of these herons were actively hunting for food.   The only heron a saw today with a fish in its beak was an immature Black-crowned Night Heron.   As I made my way along the Holland Marsh canals, I also spotted a nine Great Blue Herons.   I stopped counting at this point even though they continued to show up.   I had spotted more Black-crowned Night Herons in one hour than I had in a lifetime and was most grateful.   I also spotted Belted Kingfishers, Wood Ducks, Barn Swallows, and a few turtles.   I suspect this heron activity is not customary in that the Holland Marsh canals are being relocated away from the major roads that run beside them.  It is being done in the interest of road safety.   Over the years, many cars have plunged into the canals and a number of deaths have resulted.   Its a huge relocation job but one that seems to be a boon for wildlife, especially birds, that have a plethora of new perching/feeding locations to choose from.   The new spots are also at a greater distance from the roadways, thereby giving creatures a greater comfort zone while feeding.   The narrow canal roads are hazardous for birdwatchers, like me, because we are constantly slowing down. pulling over, and generally being a pain in the butt for local marsh farmers.   Care is to be cautioned when wandering about here.   Nevertheless, the Holland Marsh canals are excellent for local herons at this time of year.
Please comment if you wish.
BtheB                                                                                                        All photos by BarrytheBirder

Ps. This very satisfying outing was capped off at the Kettleby General Store, with a Strawberry Shortcake ice cream cone.  "Barry, Barry, Barry...will ye never learn, lad?" 

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