Posts Tagged ‘Great Blue Heron’

Egrets & Herons & Pelicans, O My!


three white pelicans

The Birds of Winter

I walk outside, to a chill in the air –
I look up in the silence and see
rock doves in a gathering, pulling against the sky.
They are so near, I can hear
the music of their wings.

I drive under a tall street lamp, as the sun is going down –
I see a hawk, fixed and attentive,
staring across a green field.
I know, even in stillness, she is hunting
with hungry eyes that open wider

as the light fades.

I cross over the causeway –
all the birds of winter fly across the sky:
geese over the sunset marsh, plowing the air,
a Great Blue Heron winging her way alone,
first one Great White Egret, then another.

Never without an angel, never without a song,
never alone in an orange twilight
or in the dark before dawn –
who has seen what I have seen,
or known this mystery?




Mare Island Birding

10417781_728524093894137_7242306047470253860_nThe Ospreys are nesting — in pine trees and the tops of dead palms (and a light tower) — near the water on Mare Island. I went to look at them this morning, peering through a pair of borrowed binoculars. I saw a parent bring a fish to three birds in the nest! Extraodordinary to see.

Three White Pelicans went soaring overhead, through the blue sky, at one point. At another, I saw a White in the water, and a Brown Pelican skimming along the Vallejo-side of the shoreline.

I saw two baby Great Blue Herons in a giant nest in a pine, and I saw a young Heron, looking nearly full-grown but still more brown than blue (or grey really), standing on the platform near three tiers of lights at the top of a metal pole.

The White-Tailed Kites were wonderful to see, too. Beautiful birds. I saw two sitting opposite one another in a pine tree. I saw them in flight, too.

The tall pines definitely attract the raptors. The largest bird I saw was a full-grown Osprey at the top of an evergreen, looking around at everything. In flight, the osprey’s wings take the shape of a shallow “M.” It’s quite distinctive, and forever after, with or without binoculars, I will be able to recognize them when they are flying high in the sky.

There were lots of smaller birds, too, including a pair of Hummingbirds who sped away. I saw a tiny Warbling Vireo as well, white-breasted, in a green tree. It was such a quiet moment. The bird was so tiny! I love tiny birds.

There were Tree Swallows nesting nearby, and perhaps my favorite moment, as I walked up the trail, was when I saw a young Tree Swallow chick in a chain link fence. The mother flew by, and fluttering in mid-air, fed the little one. I saw that moment, sans binoculars, close-up.

I truly enjoy watching what birds do.

“Let every created thing give praise to the LORD,

for he issued his command, and they came into being!”

Psalm 148:5 (NLT)