Thursday, August 11, 2016

Green Heron on the Tuolumne River (with video)

Now that I've been home a few days, I've been patrolling the Tuolumne Parkway Trail, trying to maintain some semblance of health, and of course I'm always watching for birds and other animals (I finally saw some River Otters a few weeks back). I know that at least one Green Heron (Butorides virescens) has been living along the western stretch of the trail, because I've seen it lurking in the brush three or four times. Unfortunately, it's almost always at dusk, and pictures have been difficult. I caught some pretty nice shots almost a year ago (see them here), but there's been nothing since.
Today's walk was almost totally uneventful. No Orioles, no Tanagers, no raptors, just a pleasant stroll in the morning. I was about to start up the long stairwell at the end of the hike, and saw a bird fly through the underbrush out the corner of my eye. I took the chance to briefly avoid climbing the 146 steps and watch the brush at the irrigation outfall pond. You can see from the picture above how hard it was to see the heron, but it stuck around long enough for a couple of pictures (focusing was a real challenge). Actually, I was the one who gave up, because this heron was going to get one of the frogs jumping around in the pond below, and wasn't going anywhere.
I took a bit of video so you can observe the bird doing an inventory of the frogs in the pond below.

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