Another two for the books

Yesterday was Sunday, a day in which we habitually, happily go to church.  However, my oldest son Ethan was fighting a flu-type bug, my “cold” or whatever it is still hasn’t gone away, and Fiala’s nose is still snotty…  Martin goes in to church very early, so we decided that I would drive Grant and Wesley to church closer to the actual start of service, keeping Ethan and the girls with me.  I dropped them off, with the admonition to not run and to stay together, to which Grant responded with a cheery, “Yes, mom!” as he jumped out of the truck, took off like a shot, and left his brother in the dust.  🙄

I drove a route home that took us by a neighborhood that has a series of connected man-made lakes which also connect, sort of, with a natural reservoir which is part of a public park.  I say “sort of” because the man-made part is separated from the natural part with a very low dam which keeps the waters separate.  On this low dam, I have discovered that a great many birds like to congregate.  In the natural area are bushes and trees aplenty;  it’s a great place to watch for birds.  The only weird thing is that the place one has to stand is on a bridge that is, while on a public road, part of an… exclusive neighborhood.  I try to act like I belong there, but I’m sure my dirty, 10 year old truck gives me away.  😀

I had left Ethan at home for the trip to bring the other boys to church, so I just had Fiala and Audrey with me.  Fiala was crying;  I knew she was hungry.  So, I pulled over on the bridge, into the bike lane, rolled down the windows so Audrey and I could watch birds, and took Fiala with me to the passenger side to nurse her.

It is migratory season, so we were NOT disappointed.  We saw several Great Blue Herons (both the regular blue, and the white morph), several Black-Crowned Night Herons, both of which I’ve seen many times.  I didn’t have my Sibley guide with me, nor a pair of binoculars, but I made special mental note of two other birds… and when I got home, compared my memory to my book.  One was a Snowy Egret.  I’m pretty sure I have seen a Snowy before, but it wasn’t marked in my book with a specific date, so I marked him down.  The other, I’m sure I’ve never seen before:  a Green Heron.  He wasn’t quite in his adult plumage, but he wasn’t as streaky as a juvenile…  This isn’t my picture, but “my” Green Heron looked very much like this:

Green Heron

Green Heron

The website from which I got the above pic also says:

They’re solitary birds, hunting and nesting alone, living along the West coast and in the eastern half of the USA. Although it often looks like it has no neck, it can actually crane its head up a remarkable distance, making it look almost like a different bird. When disturbed they can also raise the crest of dark feathers which runs along the top of the head and down the back of the neck.

Solitary:  Check.  Crane its head way up:  Check.  Raise a crest:  Check.

This Green Heron was actually a little bit feisty, chasing off the grackles which dared to congregate on the dam, nearby, raising its crest to appear more threatening.  I don’t like grackles either, so I didn’t blame him.  😀 It was funny because though there was ONE Green Heron, and about 10 or 12 grackles, and though the birds were all roughly the same size, the heron was definitely winning the King of the Hill battle.

Any day that a Bird Nerd can add two more birds to the list is a good day.  😀


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 5, 2009, in Babies, birding, Family, Loving Nature!, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. HAHA, I think I know where you went. A mile east of 67th was a nice neighborhood with GREEN GRASS, a feast for my eyes. Sometimes I drove thru there too. Is Fry’s going away too or just Bashas?

    • You’re probably right about where I was… it’s the south side of Thunderbird Park (now Thunderbird CONSERVATION Park), north of Deer Valley Rd…. Big houses, green grass. 🙂

      In a way, Fry’s already went away, because they were bought out by Kroger some years ago… maybe 6, 7 years ago? I can’t remember. So, when you were here, it was owned by Kroger. But those of us weird old-timers like me miss the local feel of Fry’s. I still shop there, but not exclusively. Lately, I’ve been spending almost all of my grocery $$ at Sprouts and Bashas’, mostly because they both have lamb, and because Bashas’ lowered their prices on pretty much everything, making it comparable in cost to Fry’s.

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