So on my walk at Boomer Lake today I managed to spot the ‘secretive’ green heron.
The green heron is a migratory bird that spends its summers in Oklahoma, and we’re lucky enough that there is usually a mating pair in town. Due to the start of the pandemic last year, I didn’t get in many walks at Boomer Lake during the summertime so I missed trying to get a picture of them last year.
I wasn’t expecting to see the green heron this morning–mainly because I was out ‘late’ (i.e. well after dawn), and usually these birds are roosting/hunting in the brush around the lake edges.
I was passing the area of the lake, that a birding expert refers to as ‘heron cove’ and noticed the green heron perched on a branch over the water cleaning its feathers.
I tried to move down the hill quietly so that I could possibly get a closer picture, and while I did get a little closer–I’m not sure if the pictures give it justice or not.
Within the picture series, I also noticed that I managed to get a picture of several red-eared sliders and a grackle. I’m thnking that I may try to explore a little more of the wooded areas around the lake to see if I can possibly spot the black-crowned night heron again, and possibly even the belted kingfisher. As all three of these birds are usually more ‘morning’ birds (best seen usually close to dawn), though I have managed to spot them later in the morning.
Bird watching and photography are two of the things I enjoy doing during nice weather. What hobbies do you enjoy doing durin ghte nice weather?
I managed to get several pictures of the green heron last summer at Boomer Lake, and I was happy with how I managed to progress from just getting a partial picture of a green heron to actually getting a picture of one in flight during a very foggy morning.
I haven’t seen a night heron since my trip to Hawaii back in 2009; but in all honesty, I had no idea that they migrated through Oklahoma. I think it would be super cool to spot one within the lower forty-eight states–though that may mean being in a slightly more tropical part (such as California, Florida, or along the Texas coast) where they are around all year.
The other ‘stocky’ members that I would like to get a picture of are the yellow-crowned night heron (which is mainly found in the eastern part of the US, though it does summer in OK), and the bitterns (both American and Least), but these two birds are even more secretive than the green heron.
Have you gotten a picture of a bittern? If you have–how long did it take to get a good picture?
So the winner of the next double photography challenge is the green heron. This one (or these two) haven’t started their migration south yet, though they should be heading off within the next couple of weeks. Green herons migrate south anywhere from the end of August through October.
Well–we’re a little over halfway through September, so there is basically now six weeks until Halloween. I’m hoping to possibly get a few more pictures of them this fall before they head south, since I never seem to be able to get good pictures of them in the springtime.
I managed to see them both mornings that I walked at Boomer Lake, though I saw them on opposite sides of the lake. On Saturday, I startled this one, and it flew past me to head into the little cove. Due to the fog, I lost sight of it once I turned around to follow it.
These guys blend right in with the dreary landscape, and if it had sat still and ignored me–I would have completely missed seeing it.
Sunday morning, I saw one of them flying from the little island towards the tall grasses that I had just passed. I knew that there wasn’t going to be any closer pictures this morning. Though I have to wonder where the other one is at–I’ve seen them as a pair this year. Even with the one I startled yesterday–I soon startled it’s mate/friend a few minutes later. I just wasn’t able to get a picture of it.
Though this is one thing that has made me happy this fall–being able to get a couple of good pictures of the green herons.
So the winner of today’s photography challenge is the green heron. I actually was able to get a good picture of the green heron as it landed on a tree limb at Boomer Lake.
These birds are very easy to startle (compared to the great blue heron and great egret), so it was a surprise to see it on my walk—if it hadn’t flown from it’s original spot, I probably would have walked right past it.
Though as it flew past me, I did managed to get a picture–though with the sun coming up, and it being a dark colored bird, it does make for an interesting contrast.
Pretty soon, they’re going to start on their trip south to warmer winter areas (the gulf coast, Mexico, and possibly down into Central America). I’m going to have to try to keep an eye out for these guys, and move as slowly and quietly as possible as I’m doing it—so that I don’t scare them off before I’m able to get a good picture of them.
These are yet another species, that I’m going to have to be stealthy in terms of getting close to–or break out the tripod and larger lens for the camera.
The winner of today’s photography challenge is the green heron—who is playing hide and seek in the picture.
These guys are actually more the size of crows than herons or egrets. They’re short and stocky, and they look like they’re constantly walking hunched over. Since they were playing hide and seek in the branches, I’m not sure if they were adults or juveniles.
These two were probably trying to hunt this morning when I noticed them and tried to get their picture. They usually stand motionless close to the water’s edge (though they were actually perched a little above the edge of the water in the branches), waiting for prey (which are usually fish and amphibians).
Oklahoma is within it’s breeding range, which means that come late fall it will be migrating back down to warmer areas (such as Mexico and Central America).
They are capable of diving and swimming back to shore with their catch, though for the most part they hunt by wading in the shallow waters.
Hopefully I will be able to see these guys again before they head south for the winter, or in the spring when they come back. Unlike the other herons that are out in the open, these guys like to stay back in the foliage (probably due to sitting above the water), and out wait their prey. I’m just happy that I managed to get a couple of pictures of them that weren’t totally blurry.