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

Karen Paulsell kpaulsell at pacbell.net
Wed Jun 18 09:32:14 PDT 2008


A few years ago, someone had released several goldfish into the creek 
-- they were sharing the trout pool just below El Centro.  A teacher 
and some school kids arrived one AM, scaring off a great blue heron 
from the pool. The goldfish were gone; the trout remained.

I had a small ornamental pond in my yard, but gave up trying to keep 
fish! Not only did it attract very bothersome raccoons, but I was 
amazed at the number of egrets that stopped by to visit a pond no 
bigger than a small dining room table. I suspected that any glint of 
water, seen from high in the sky, was enough to bring them down for a 
closer look.

At 05:11 PM 6/17/2008, Edward Goehring wrote:
>  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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