Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Egrets? Only One
I'd been missing my 'old men' down at Col. Sam Smith Park. Five (at my count) Night Herons that used to be regulars on the small islets that ring the inner harbour there. I saw only one all spring and feared the worst for them. A few days ago I took a different path in & went down to the observation deck (the one that hasn't been burnt down yet). The swallows buzz in and out from under the deck, taking care of the fly population and you can often see turtles, Painted I think, basking on half-submerged logs. And that is where my Old Men had retired to. All five of them were standing in the shallows, waiting or communing with nature. They're not very social & always stand at a distance from each other, but that could be so they don't scare the fish.
The swans always nest in that pond, too. There's lots of dog walkers at Sam Smith and the pond is somewhat protected from the main paths by high bushes. It's pretty quiet down there most of the time - though you can see lots of evidence of night-time parties. Yesterday the Night Herons had been replaced by a snowy white Egret grooming itself on a rotting log. Checking my 'Sibley', I find there are 3 different white Egrets, so I don't know if it was a 'Great', a 'Snowy' or a 'Little'. I can never remember details!


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