Entries in Little Blue Heron (2)


Morning on the River

Juvenile Bald EagleFall migration is underway. Lots of intriguing birds will pass through—although less brightly colored and less tuneful than in spring. What I hope for here in the Hudson Valley is the chance of seeing shorebirds. A few have been appearing—last weekend Black Bellied Plovers at Greig Farm. So as I headed onto the river this Sunday morning I had high hopes for what might be flying or floating through.

The weather report claimed rain and the sky over the Catskills loomed gray, but electric. I stroked to the Western shore of the river and wove through the water chestnut mat. A Spotted Sandpiper bobbed about and a dozen Great Blue Herons posed in the shallow water.


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Little Blue

Mature Little Blue--seen in KansasI was birding the South Tivoli Bay with my friend, the biologist and ornithologist, Bruce Robertson. Birding with Bruce added another dimension to birding as he is filled with excellent bird information, which he gleefully transmits as we walk through the woods. He was describing shifts in gender roles for the Spotted Sandpiper, which we had just seen bobbing along the muddy edges of the bay. The females fight for territory, and to win the males. Once she lays her eggs, she leaves them for the male to incubate and to raise the young.

“Cool,” I said. I love it when nature confounds what is expected (and in the process confounds the biologists as well).

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