Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A couple of SpruceHaven birds

     A pair of Green Herons Butorides virescens have been present at SpruceHaven since the spring and even though their breeding attempt seemed to have been thwarted they now are seen regularly with a single juvenile. 

     These birds are quite wary and slink back into dense vegetation if they feel even the slightest bit threatened. Fortunately, by knowing where they are, a little patience is rewarded with a sighting of one or more of the birds.

     When I took these photographs a couple of days ago a family of Mallards Anas platyrynchos was preening and splashing in the water directly below the Green Heron.

     The Mallards posed not the slightest threat but the Green Heron was clearly unhappy that they had invaded its space. 

     It made half-hearted jabs at them but the Mallards paid the heron no attention at all and finally it returned to the security of dense cover, as though to sulk in silence.
     Our Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica colony is a thriving affair indeed and we have several nests in the barn with second clutches. In fact we will be banding again tomorrow evening.

     The birds are frequently seen on the roof of the barn and perched along the eaves troughs and we are always happy when we spot a bird that we have banded this year.

     I care not a fig for the Olympic Games and they seem to be far less about athletic performance than they do about drugs, corruption, self-interest and the determination of the IOC to have the games go ahead no matter what. The host country says to hell with its people, let's put on a good show. To hell with pollution, to hell with crime, to hell with clean water. And if the athletes take a few drugs to hell with that too.
     Perhaps a few of these so called athletes should adopt the Barn Swallow as their inspiration. Six to eight weeks after they are born these little birds embark on a perilous migration to South America, encountering all manner of hazards along the way. And they do this unassisted, without benefit of anything to enhance their performance. Some of them will live to return next year and we look forward to welcoming them home.


  1. Beautiful Heron and Swallows, brilliantly laid out.

  2. Hi. Stunning photographs. The green heron was for me a completely new acquaintance.

  3. Hi David, what a sight for you with the Green Heron, this is a really stunning bird, great images. I totally agree with you ref the Olympics, what a waste of money for a country that really could not afford it, long rule the Barn Swallows
    Regards John

  4. Hi David,
    wonderful photos of the different birds, especially the first one is amazing.
    Best regards, Synnöve

  5. Bonsoir cher ami,

    Un billet particulièrement riche avec vos magnifiques photos... je suis éblouie par tous ces jolis emplumés.

    Gros bisous 🌸

  6. Precioso reportaje mi amigo David, las fotos de la garza me han gustado mucho, esa especie no la tenemos por aquí. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

  7. That really is a beautiful Heron............

  8. Lovely photos of the Green Heron, a bird I find particularly handsome. How nice that the swallows are nesting in your barn, Lovely little birds, I try to photograph them in flight, but haven't yet succeeded in getting a really good shot. These are wonderful captures!:)

  9. Hi David.

    Beautiful series, Heron is very beautiful.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  10. Beautiful pictures, David. Great series of the Barn Swallow and the Green Heron.
    Gr Jan W

  11. Hello David,
    This heron is very beautiful and the last picture of it is very great !

  12. Hello, the Green heron and the Barn Swallows are two of my favorite birds. Great post and photos.

    Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  13. It's great to see more super images of Green Heron, David - a bird that I'm never likely to see now.

    The Olympic movement lost its way several years ago now. It holds no interest for me - not even the ladies beach volleyball (must be getting old!)

    Love to you and Miriam - - - Richard

  14. Maybe one day for the Green Heron, Richard.
    Never say never.

  15. Love to read that post and that post is looking so beautiful. You captured amazing photos of that beautiful place. Taj Mahal Tour By Car

  16. Great photos and I guess I am never going to see a Green Heron in real life but at least I know know what they look like.
    Our swallows seem to be gathering already, I suspect they think it is time to be on their merry way once more. Have a good day Diane

  17. We could all learn a lot from those barn swallows. Intrepid little things. Great photos, thank you so much for sharing them.

  18. Hi David,
    The Green Heron is definitively a striking species I have yet to see!
    He can come and sulk all ha wants in front of my lens, I won't mind! LOL!
    Well done :)
    Warm hugs and abrazos to share with Miriam

  19. The green heron is really great to see. In the Netherlands, life no green herons but blue herons and white egrets and some small zeilverreigers. There are also one or two spots purple herons but you have to be lucky to see them. The green I think werkleijk magnificent. Very nice pictures you have taken the green heron, but also of the swallows.