New Heron at the Bridge


Heron at Work by Allison Huyett

   Just when you think you are taking a walk of little excitement and consequence something interesting happens.

   While I take a picture of a  purple, green and grey pigeon on the upstream side of the mill dam bridge, a fisherman tugs his line over the downstream side of the bridge. A rainbow trout has gotten away.

 I say I wonder if the pigeon is okay, the way its wing is bent up under it. He says he’s trying to figure out what kind of bird he sees on the rocks along the creek. 

Downstream Angle by Allison Huyett

   The bird stands on a rock. The rock is at the downstream edge of the dam breast. At first – I exclaim – it is a little Green Heron. I take a picture. While I show the fisherman a digital image, zoomed in, I realize the image is fuzzy and so is my bird identification. The bird is gunmetal grey, black and white, nothing green about it.

  I go back and shoot two more pictures. The bird is intent on catching fish. It it has the same coloration as the Great Blue Heron, only smaller. It is built more like a little Green, only bigger. I go to my car and turn it on.

   I learn from ESPN radio that Coach John Wooden, undefeated in all seasons, is reported to be in grave condition at 99 years of age. His family has always been private.

    Now that I am home with the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds, it looks like a Black-crowned Night Heron. According to the pencil notation above the book illustration, my mother saw and identified one on “Nantucket 5/23/92.”

Black-crowned Night Heron by Allison Huyett

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