The Grace of a Green Heron

I fully intended to get caught up with all the photographs from warbler migration, particularly in Riverside, but those posts will have to wait a day or two…

We had a warm front the past couple of days which seems to have ushered out the warblers, so I wasn’t expecting to see much yesterday morning when I got to the Chicago Portage. But then, I encountered a Green Heron, and we hung out for what must have been five minutes or longer. I have never experienced anything like this before, it was quite amazing.

I had started on the path that crosses the bridge near Harlem. I encountered an American Robin on the trail. Nothing unusual there.

There was a little bird off to the side that I realized later was a female Indigo Bunting.

Past the bridge, I began to encounter the sounds of the usual suspects – Red-winged Blackbirds, Warbling Vireos, Baltimore Orioles – but then suddenly I heard a loud “skeow” call and found a Green Heron had joined me to look over the water in the stream. It sat in a small tree perhaps no more than 100 feet away.

I raised the lens slowly and started taking photos. The heron was not perturbed by this. Indeed it sat very still. I did not want to flush it, so I stood quietly in its space.

I started taking photographs of other birds across the water. The heron remained.

Song Sparrows…

House Sparrow and Green Heron

A female Red-winged Blackbird was in the marshy grass.

Green Heron and female Red-winged Blackbird

Through it all, the Green Heron remained. This is only a sampling of the photographs I took. It was hard to choose.

The heron finally decided it needed to go somewhere else, so it turned and took off to my left and behind me. I did not attempt to capture it in flight. In retrospect, I wonder if it had been waiting all that time for me to take the first step.

That left me to find out what was going on with other birds.

A bedraggled, wet-looking Black-capped Chickadee

I spotted the first of several male Indigo Buntings.

Gray Catbirds were everywhere but this was the only one I caught sitting still for a second.

Only one first-year male Redstart appeared. It was singing loudly yet this was the best I could do to photograph it.

The view of the second bridge with the new growth

Indigo Buntings and American Robins will be here all summer. They will likely be less visible the hotter it gets.

Baltimore Orioles were everywhere, enjoying the sunshine.

I managed to barely capture a female Baltimore Oriole.

Down in the wooded “ravine” area off the high point in the trail, two Northern Flicker males were having a quiet face-off.

I noticed a perched Ruby-throated Hummingbird over the trail.

An American Robin scouring the duckweed for food

More Indigo Buntings…

I went down to sit on a fallen log on the other side of the water. A Song Sparrow was foraging in the grass.

And a female Red-winged Blackbird was gathering nesting material.

When I started walking again, I saw a Hobomok Skipper in the distance, a very tiny butterfly, and then later one a bit closer.

I was very pleased to see a male Orchard Oriole off the inside trail. I can only hope he is staying for the summer to raise a family.

Blue Jays rarely if ever tolerate my camera, so I had to take a picture of this one.

Deer are seen less frequently, or so it seems.

One more of the gracious Green Heron.

After two warm days we have cooled off again, but there is plenty of sunshine. We need some rain and there is none in the forecast. I was in Riverside this morning. The river is so low, I suspect one could walk across it.

Yesterday Linda Rios and I played “Orange Dawn” by Ian Clarke again for a little local private afternoon gathering. Tonight is the end-of-season choir party and talent show for which I am accompanying two singing selections and hope to play a little piece by Manuel de Falla. It occurred to me yesterday that I can thank the showy piano cadenza in “Orange Dawn” for all this attention. Whatever it is, I am looking forward to things calming down a bit so I can get caught up with this and more. If the days are still getting longer, it seems there should be more time for naps too but that doesn’t seem to happen.

I promise to get back to reading others’ blog posts too as soon as this whirlwind subsides.

8 thoughts on “The Grace of a Green Heron

  1. No, I did not count the number of Green Heron pics you posted. Of course that means there was a plethora of others that never made your post. You certainly covered a lot of the locals. I enjoyed the ruby throat particularly since it has eluded me this year. Glad the performance went went and enjoy the evening festivities.

    • I’m a little worn out but it was fun last night. I am taking a little breather before tackling the next project(s).
      I have only seen an occasional ruby throat at my feeders in the last couple weeks. As far as I know they were all females. This one was a male but the light was not good to capture his gorget.

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