Friday, August 13, 2010

Black-crowned Night Heron-Institute Park Worcester

I decided to try my luck at the reported Black-crowned Night Heron at Institute Park this morning before work as it's not too far away from my building and figured it would be a piece of cake and an easy bird to get so off I went. As soon as I arrived, I would see a heron perched in a tree in its heron like manner, but to my disappointment turned out to be the Great-blue Heron above. What's up with its hair!!
I spent about 40 minutes there and searched every nook and cranny my binoculars would allow me to go, but it would be a no deal as the night herons decided to retire for the day it seems. I did see the Pied-billed Grebe though. The grebe was hanging out with the Mallards and was actually following them in a line of sorts as they swam around the pond which was so funny to see. The Mallards finally went to an area with shallow water and walked toward the island much to the Grebes dismay as it swam off in the opposite direction and deeper water and behaved like a dejected child when the older kids tell them too leave as they are too young to play with the big boys.
After work, I decided to hit the gym and then hang out for a while and try for the night heron in the night. Who'd of thunk it! Anyhow, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been out in full force in my yard lately and I was treated to a gorgeous male at about 6:30 this morning and he decided to grace me with his presence once again before I took off for my evening birding trip. I know, I know, the picture is horrible but it was taken quickly and through a screen and it was the best I could do. Check out the ruby throat though. Sigh, such a gorgeous bird!
My first stop in search for the Black-crowned Night Heron would be Saint Philips as I had seen a gorgeous adult there last year and figured I would try my luck again. I would have no luck there, but did see 5 Great-blue Herons on the herons nests.
After that it was onto Institute Park and I got there just a little before 7.
As I made my way to the small island, I was rewarded immediately with a good look at a juvenile who was hanging out amongst the regulars.
Now this is the first time I had seen a Black-crowned Night Heron in the water and it was quite the treat as it walked in the funny way they are known to walk in search for food. It would also hop and flap its wings which is very entertaining because it reminded me of the young Peregrine Falcons this year when they were learning how to fly. Again, the picture above is horrible, but you get the idea!
Finally the other one would arrive and I watched them for about 10 minutes or so. Very happy to have gotten these birds because if I didn't I would have been livid

And here's why. You see those bird red spots on my arm, you know the ones that look like golf balls! Well those my friends were done by yellow jackets!! I went to Brierly last night for the Great Egret and couldn't find it so went to the other side of the water where I had to cross the small path in what little woods the pond has near the parking lot. As I was getting closer I could hear a commotion where two people were yelling at each other and it sounded like something was wrong. So off I went to see what was the matter (and to get the egret of course) and as I get closer I see a man swatting away what appears to be bugs as a woman is in the path screaming toward him. Suddenly I have wasps on me and they are stinging away like mad. The woman is upset at this time and her voice is raised and she was not going to leave without her friend so back I went to my car to get help. I realized I didn't have my cell phone and the wasps are still coming at me and I would brush them off and they would come back even angrier and sting me even more. I would up jumping into my car and going to the police station to get help as it is on my way back to the house. By the time the police arrived to aide the couple they had already left so I don't know their outcome but I was stung 15 times. The picture above was taken approx 20 hours after the incident after I had come back from the gym and as you can see, they did a number on me. I am fine though and got some lotion from my doctor and feeling much better already.
The insult though would be I never got the Great Egret!!! Nope, the only thing I would get that was a white bird were a couple of lousy Ring-billed Gulls and the Peking Duck above! Not fair I tell you, so not fair!

So there you have it folks. Use caution out on those trails as you never who what is out there.

Take care all.

1 comment:

Ratty said...

The incident with the yellow jackets sounds scary. It's good they didn't get you any worse. Hopefully those other people are okay.

The picture of the nesting herons is fantastic. I've never seen them like that, only in drawings.


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