Great Blue Heron

3:00 p.m. on October 31, 2012 (EDT)
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a familiar trail companion where i live.


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3:20 p.m. on October 31, 2012 (EDT)
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beautiful

4:13 p.m. on October 31, 2012 (EDT)
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cool...is there just one or are there more?

5:04 p.m. on October 31, 2012 (EDT)
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I love these birds, we get them here too.

Aren't they a hoot when you unexpectedly flush one at very close range?

7:52 p.m. on October 31, 2012 (EDT)
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A couple nights ago, I went for a night hike up one of the local hills (6 miles RT, plus 2000 ft or so of climb. On the down trail, I spotted these two critters - not as pretty as the blue heron, but denizens of the night, none the less. I am not sure the exact species for the two of them, just that they are toads.


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They were about 1000 ft different in elevation, but both quite some distance from any water (ponds or streams).

10:41 p.m. on October 31, 2012 (EDT)
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I saw Great Blue Herons occasionally when I was growing up in upstate NY, but for the longest time never saw one here in California (lots of cattle egrets, though).  Then one day a few years ago I saw one at Franklin Lake in Sequoia NP.  I didn't think they would go that high - the lake is at 10,330'.  I guess it makes sense, the lake is chock full of small brookies.
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10:03 a.m. on November 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Beautiful birds. I used to see them in the streams and marshes out on the  prairie. Always made me stop and take a good, long look.

11:53 a.m. on November 1, 2012 (EDT)
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I like herons as well. My family lives across the street from Chickamauga Lake, a TVA reservoir, and the Herons became extremely familiar to me. 

One Autumn, I decided to sleep out on the dock when the first good cold front moved through. In the middle of the night I woke to a most stunning moonlit lakescape. I sat up, and was greeted by the most terrifyingly loud and harsh croaking cry, followed by the violent trashing, beating, and whooshing of wings! For a moment it seems a pterodactyl had come to eat me, but in truth I had only scared the crap out of a Great Blue heron that was siting right behind me when I woke, Ha! 
 

3:18 p.m. on November 1, 2012 (EDT)
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in and around the potomac river & the adjacent C&O Canal, we get a lot of blue heron.  also a lot of osprey (often mistaken for eagles), hawks, vultures.   

once, over 10 years ago, i was hiking along with my four year old son (he's 15 now and almost my height).  we spotted a heron catching a fish, which was really fun to see....until it promptly tore the fish to pieces and ate it in a lovely display of bloody mayhem.  not surprisingly, i had many questions from my son about whether that was real, what that red stuff was.....

3:40 a.m. on November 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I grew up on the coast of nc and I have been startled by the sounds described above while gigging flounder. Its enough commotion and sound to scare you into falling ouof your boat. They are a common sight eating in the shallows of nc's many bays.

3:53 p.m. on November 4, 2012 (EST)
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cool birds. I wish we had them here.

10:20 a.m. on November 6, 2012 (EST)
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It is fun to see heron rookeries on a big river somewhere.  I have a friend that lives on a trawler at a marina in Sausalito north of SF.  There is a great blue that lives around the marina and frequently walks around on the dock in the early morning.  It is fun to see visitor's go eyeball to eyeball with a bird that big that is used to people.

August 1, 2014
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