A Siege of Herons Occupies Blackfish Creek Marsh

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Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

This week seems to be dedicated to learning unusual collective names for birds.  Yesterday we dealt with a murder of crows and today we’re documenting a siege of herons that has occupied the salt marshes of Blackfish Creek in South Wellfleet.

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Blue Heron (Modern Pterodactyl) Takes Flight

During warm summer days we glory in sighting an isolated great blue heron as it works the marsh channels around Lieutenant Island.  Our greatest pleasure comes when a heron takes flight in surprise and voices a gravelly “kraak” as it rises about the tall swaying grass.  To us, they resemble a prehistoric pterodactyl as they battle on-shore breezes.

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Siege of Great Blue Herons in Fox Island WMA

As fall sets in and bright green marsh grasses mellow into tans and browns, herons gather into goodly sized groups.  We spied more than a dozen foraging through the marsh channels of the Fox Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) between Indian Neck and Paine Hollow in South Wellfleet.

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Photo Quiz:  Can You Find the Eight Herons?

The first Turtle Journal quiz, sadly with no prize to offer other than personal satisfaction, asks, “Can you find the eight great blue herons in the above image?”  You may wish to click on the picture to blow it up to higher resolution before straining your eyes.

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Unamused Raptor

The overlord of the Lieutenant Island salt marsh, our favorite marsh hawk was, like Queen Victoria, not amused by the antics of these gangling autumnal visitors.

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