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Friday, 10 August 2012

Prehistoric Like - Great Blue Herons and Cormorants

This year, on walks, we have seen a lot more Great Blue Herons than last year. Last year, you'd just step near the marsh and you'd see the tail end of one taking off in fear. Needless to say, last year I never got a great shot of one at all. It has been a whole different story this year. From the time we tried to follow the paths into the great blue heron colony area at Minesing Wetlands near Collingwood with no luck, here, we've seen literally tons of them. Cranberry Marsh, we've come upon the lookout area only to be met with at least 50 herons spread out all over the marsh. On top of this, there are often 5 to 7 snowy egrets hanging in their own little area, as well as the odd small heron. We have seen night herons and small blue herons as well. Not to mention the american bittern which I spoke about in the previous post. There also has been belted kingfishers hunting over the marsh.

I often find myself remarking how prehistoric the Great Blue Heron and the many Cormorants we run across are; both their squawks and their appearance in flight. The GBH sounds to me what I'd imagine a pterodactyl would sound like. They seem both, very ancient creatures.

We've done a couple long hikes lately, at Cranberry Marsh and at Second Marsh and every time we venture out on one of these hikes, something neat or different is sighted. Never a dull moment. Bird activity can be freaky, especially if there are tons of dragon flies to be had, or wax wings seem to take on the behaviour of red wings and swoop over the marsh, grabbing a hold onto reeds and cattails momentarily, birds mating or fighting, king birds flying and landing repeatedly in the same tree tops, terns fighting over prey one in the group is holding on to for dear life, and lots more. We even saw a great blue heron suddenly take flight and land in a nearby tree, probably due to the canoe that rounded the reeds in the marsh and scared the crap out of it.There is also the never ending sightings of bunnies of all sizes along the usual routes we take. This then leads us to not being surprised by the coyote skat we see off and on in these same areas. The frogs have also appeared by the dozens recently and they are so beautiful to hear and cute to see in the marsh.

Every evening or morning we do a 3+ hour hike, we think "ok we've had our fill for a couple days" but then find ourselves wanting to get out and do it all again.

- egrets and little heron were a bit too far for my  lens

- you can see a few dragon flies in this shot

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