Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tales from the Pit - Episode 2 - Heron There

Peck's Pit - a name that stirs the imagination. Images of a dark, cavernous place fraught with creatures that defy description are conjured by the mere mention of that name: Peck's Pit.

In reality, it is a park-like area where picnic tables stand over lawn-like grass and shaded by oaks and sycamores. Then there's the lake where fishermen cast their poles with the hope of catching some catfish. It is also a favorite haunt of birders, particularly of late, when some unusual birds were spotted there.

And so, self-respecting birder that I am, visited this birdy place with a strange name a few times trying my luck at finding those unusual birds. There were times I got lucky - seeing both Blackpoll and Lucy's Warblers (see my previous blog) - but more frequently, I wasn't. Although I missed out on the rarer kind, the local bird population, most especially the herons, have been quite cooperative.

One fine day as I was scanning the tiny strip of land in the middle of the lake for a possible Solitary Sandpiper (yes, that single bird bane of my life) and once again dipping badly, a Great Blue Heron suddenly gave a loud squawk and flew towards my side. With the agility of a hungry leopard, I lifted my camera and captured the flight of the huge wader.

A couple of days later, at the north end of the lake, while searching for a Northern Waterthrush (and again failing miserably) I saw a Black-crowned Night Heron knee-deep in green duckweed water. Actually herons don't have knees but I'm just trying to anthrophomorphize the scene I was witnessing.

A short distance from it, a Green Heron, hating to get its feet wet, perched on some branch jutting from the greenish puddle.

Getting pictures of three herons there on the pit is quite a feat and I was happy I picked a place like Peck's.

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Neil said...

Great photos like the first one best.

Carol said...

What fabulous photographs! Especially love the first shot... amazing.

Anonymous said...

A nice collection of herons - a couple more, and you'd have a winning poker hand. That first photo is very striking, well done capturing the bird mid-flight like that.

Kelly said...

I love the photo of the Great Blue coming in for a landing too. Didn't really see all the details until I enlarged the photo...it really shows his beautiful eye.

Chris Petrak said...

Those great blues are tough to get in flight - nice job

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Great shots! Glad we found your blog!

Larry Jordan said...

Awesome heron captures Bob! The Great Blue is fantastic (all due to your leopard like agility no doubt). But just to get such great photos of 3 herons in a short time is pretty good shootin' partner!