Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Great Blue Herons And American Bitterns of the Vermilon River. A Post to WBW.

N. East Track wetland.
 I'm always hiking in around the East track wetland because they're the gateway to other wetlands. Since it's a wilderness and not a park, the trails are railway maintenance, fire or snowmobile trails and therefore don't always go close to the water. I had also wondered if I would get my close ups of the Great Blues this year. All the wildlife here is unhabituated, if that's a word, and you therefore end up sneaking up on them, until in a frozen pose you take your photos and then move closer in an effort to get better photos. Sneaking up is the key although I talk in a low voice to them also, which just proves I'm as nutty as a fruitcake.
Canada Goose.

 I had seen some movement and a quick flight, and I thought it was some Canada Geese merely because this guy was still in the wetland.

The in flight Heron shots are the result of not sneaking up quietly enough in previous hikes. Still they're exciting shots,and in flight Heron are interesting photos.

 So on my return from the trail I was on that day, I was plodding along and rounding a tree when this young fellow now identified as an immature American Bittern was in of all places,the other side of the tree. I got five shots, three of which are keepers. Quite a sight!!

The next day I returned hoping for a repeat with no such luck, but just before I returned home, I looked in the lower wetland, and what was there but two more Bitterns, possible matures, maybe mom and dad. I only got these two in flight, but what a thrill.

Ed's Note: I had posted the young and the in flights on NWO Birds and James Barber pegged them as American Bittern immatures. Probably the in flight are matures. This is another first for me, and according to him a really grand photography feat, read luck according to me, to capture the immatures.

A Post to WBW @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/
Mature Gt. Blue in flight.

Mature Gt. Blue in Flight.

Young American Bittern.

Young American Bittern
Mature? Bittern  In Flight.
Mature? American Bittern  In Flight.


Immature American Bittern..

27 comments:

  1. are you sure they're blue herons? they look like green herons (or green-backed herons) to me.

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  2. I was thinking the same thing. Green heron? But I'm thinking I haven't even seen a young great blue yet. I need to add that to my list. Anyway, great shots!

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  3. Gary, I agree with TexWisGirl. With those fluffy feathers on the neck it looks like an immature Green Heron. Nice flight shots of the Great Blue!

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  4. I thought the green back had a shorter neck? Terrific heron shots Gary! I have seen two great blues this year but haven't been able to photograph them yet! I am not sneaky enough I guess.

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  5. Beautiful images Gary... Herons are lovely to watch.

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  6. Terrific photos again! Herons are superb:)

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  7. Great photos. That wetland looks like great habitat.

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  8. I think it looks like a Great Blue. It's hard to judge size from the photo but the light back upper part of the wing with the darker flight feathers makes me think it's the Blue. Whichever it is, those are some beautiful shots. I've never seen a bittern so your pictures of them are very interesting to me.

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  9. Hi Gary...great Bittern photos too! Congrats :)

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  10. Good shots of the Bittern. Ours over here are a nightmare to capture with the camera.

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  11. Hey Gary, I am not sure where the bluffs are around Lake Ontario. My post was from a Bible camp I use to go to as a child. I had not been back in years but since I was living on the east coast this year I brought my Mom and my sister back to camp. I've been posting about it all week long. It is near a small town called Olcott New York along rt. 18. There is a map of a nearby park in the post below if that will help you get oriented. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I read this whole post before and though I posted! I guess it didn't take. Anyways, nice shots of the heron and the bitterns. Happy birding to you!

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  13. Great shots! This is the first time I ever seen a bittern.

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  14. Thanks, Gary, for correcting me. I should have gone with my first hunch because the posture of the bird is typical for an American Bittern. Green Heron are almost always hunched over. But it was those yellow stripes on a brown neck.... Anyway I am eating crow :-(

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  15. Hi Gary

    I really liked your shots of the herons but the flying bittern was magic. Great work.

    Hi to Boomer.

    Guy

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  16. Hi there - great shots and views of the bittern - always difficult to get either! Well done.

    Cheers SM.

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  17. Hey Gary, Your shots of the Great Blue Heron are fabulous...not Green, which are crow sized and lack the yellow bill. Just a note of info from the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds I have in my hand....lol
    Sure wish I was hiking those wetlands with ya...I haven't seen a Blue, Green or Bittern in a long time. Wonderful captures.
    BlessYourHeart

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  18. Super in-flight shots, Gary!

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  19. Wow --- wonderful shots of the birds in flight.

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  20. Tremendous work Gary! Getting Bitterns is a bit like hitting the lotto. I think your stealth skills might be a little better than your letting on. No doubt it's a hundred times harder getting herons in the wild than somewhere like Belle Isle in Detroit where I get a lot of close-ups. Much respect to you sir.

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  21. The great blues are one of my favorites. The Bittern was a great sighting. nice job!

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  22. What a beautiful location! Fantastic shots of the Herons and Bitterns!

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  23. I love nutty fruit cakes and bitterns, ever since I had to draw one at art school 50 years ago.

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  24. those Bitterns area hard to catch. Great shots. :)

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