[Fosc] new hazard for Sausal Creek trout - Great Blue Heron

Edward Goehring ebgb at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jun 17 17:11:40 PDT 2008


 3pm Tues -    Just now I was walking along the creekside behind our house on Canon Ave, I was startled by a huge bird (six-foot
wingspan) taking off from the creek with much splashing and commotion. It was a Great Blue Heron; the first I've seen in or near the
creek. It flew low along the creek toward the redwood grove in Dimond Park.
 
    I grew up with these birds raiding my father's tiny goldfish pond in our yard, so I know their willingness to fish in small,
shallow waters. What amazed me is that I didn't think that the creek was very visible from above, with so much foliage overhanging
it here. So I marvel at a Great Blue bothering to fly around here looking for fishing spots - however, the heron was at the same
spot in the creek where we've seen Mallard ducks repeatedly, so maybe there's a view from above of that one spot.    
   Certainly the overhanging trees create shadowed spots on the reflective water surface that the herons can see fish thru. The
shade trees save the birds the effort of making a 'sunshade' with their wings over their heads (in order to reduce the reflection
off the water for hunting purposes).
 
   On the one hand, I welcome the presence in our neighborhood of a bird as majestic as the Great Blue Heron  -- and on the other
hand I know what efficient hunters they are and worry for Sausal Creek's trout population.
 
 
   For those of you who have never seen a Great Blue, here's a link to pictures, description, habitats, etc:
 
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Great_Blue_Heron_dtl.html#coolfacts
 
 
 
Enjoy!
 
Edward Goehring




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