An Accidental Birder's Journal

The continuing account of Yellow-crowned Night-herons
in Gallinas River Park at Las Vegas, San Miguel Co, New Mexico
7 - 18 August 2015

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Fri, 07 August 2015
  I have made a couple of walks in the last few days, expanding my area of observation both up river and down, checking likely cottonwood trees and slow and shallow stretches of river with no luck until on my way home today I noticed movement in an old riverside alamo. I see a striped gray side and one long leg inching up a slanting branch under the concealing foliage toward another camouflaged gray and a peaceful nap away from the prying eyes of predator and birder. I have found one of their trees-of-rest!

Sat, 08 August 2015
  On my way to the Farmers' Market I make a quick stop at the river. There are two gray Yellow-crowns sitting on the same branch, one with a completely black head [Gr3] and the second is the first with complete adult breeding plumage [Gr4] including the long white plumes. All the other gray ones are probably in their second year and not yet breeding. Yellow-crowns normally take two years to breed.

Wed, 12 August 2015
  I spot a gray heron in a tree across the river amid camouflaging foliage. He spots me then carefully peers through the leafy drapery like an actor peeking through the stage curtains, checking out the house. Or maybe he is just checking for falcons. In either case he then jumps down to an exposed branch, his stage, does a little primping scratching, and advances to stage center.

  At stage center Gr5, for so he is dubbed, assumes a pose, he is a hunched up Night-heron, then he is a stretched out Blue-heron. Shades of Richard Burbage what a ham-bone he is. I continue on my way leaving him to his posturing.
  On my return on the other side of the river about three trees down river from where I had seen Gr5 I spy another gray one. This one, Gr6 has a small white stripe behind his right eye on an otherwise black head like Gr3. Of course I am comparing a right profile to a left, so they may be the same bird.

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Peter Wait That's all for now,

this 30th of August, 2015