Some mornings are made to sleep in, today was one of those as cool nights and warm beds are a good combination. I wonder if the animals feel the same, the absence of them on my lazy days is noticeable. But as I was outside at 7am today the traffic was low, the mob of Crows did not show themselves in their normal large numbers. Two large flocks of Geese flew past to the North, flying North. I’m thinking of changing the name of the Slough to “Fly Over Slough.” My idea is that every flock should fly past shoulder high directly towards me.
As the White Tailed Kite did one morning not long ago, it rose above the Levee on the far side then bolted directly towards me. Easily confusing to me I have seen them numerous times but failed to recognize them. I more often than not thought they were SeaGulls. Since this encounter I have begun to video any that pop out from behind the far side Levee.
The Great Blue Herons have not been around for the past few weeks, I’m assuming they are setting on the nests. The Chicks should be hatching soon, within the next two weeks for most of the animals in this area. We see a few fledgeling Herons, Egrets and Red Tailed Hawks. However the Crows youngsters will take up a considerable amount of attention so much they are a diversion of sorts.
They are the second species to show up flying across the water nearly every morning just as the Sun starts over the horizon. The Crows send out two Scouts each morning, they make a wide sweeping circle as if to make sure conditions meet their requirements. This morning they were much more active than normal appearing to battle one another as they flew back and forth. What they were up to escapes me, my thought was they were mating, fighting or setting the pecking order.
The Green Herons have been out in force as well, the one pictured appears to have had a rough night out. They are nest building at this time as well, but these guy’s move a bit quicker while working. Streaking around the slough they create their own urgency always in a rush. I am continually making attempts to capture their images in flight, I have been able to only a few times. I have many opportunities to capture them while perching on the rocks or on a pylon. They are colorful busy birds standing just shy of 12 inches.
This photo was taken before dawn on a foggy morning, the Speckled Belly Geese had been landing in the pasture across the river for a few weeks. It was like clockwork, they would land between dawn and 7am. They would stay on that side until 10:30am when they would suddenly fly North as a flock.
Today was a lot like this imaginary one I laid out, the only difference is none of these images are from today.
When talking about a group of birds it is often best for me to post an image of a flock. I don’t do it often, only when a picture of a single subject doesn’t make sense. The landscape of the Cattle and Geese tells a complete story, when it is looked upon at times the smells and dust are felt. It was a nice windy day on the slough, with enough activity to keep it interesting.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance