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November 19, 2011 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Taking A Break

There is a small park near my house that is being restored back to its natural state as a wetland. It has a marshy area, a few small ponds, and a small forested section. It’s only about 20 acres but it’s very diverse. The park district maintains the paths and it’s a nice place for a walk. Plus, it’s only 2 blocks from my house.

On a recent walk I heard a lot of honking, looked up, and saw several large groups of Canada Geese. They landed so fast I was quickly surrounded. They broke into a couple of groups and began marching around.

I suppose they were migrating south and decided to take a break. After eating some grass they all moved over to the small pond.

A few days later I saw a bird tucked into the reeds at the far end of the pond. It was a lone Great Blue Heron. I don’t usually see them this late in the year.

Chicago is on the northern edge of their winter range and the smart ones usually head south. This bird was probably just taking a break from his journey. I turned away for a second to try and get closer and he flew away.


I link up my bird photos on Saturday Snapshot hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.



Leave a Comment
  1. Leeswammes / Nov 19 2011 3:51 am

    I saw one or two herons here just yesterday. They are here over the summer but I think they go elsewhere for the winter – not sure.

    Canadian Geese were considered vermin in my hometown in England when I lived there. 🙂


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 9:57 am

      A lot of people here consider them vermin too! They’re beautiful creatures but can be very messy and poop all over the paths and athletic fields. I’ve had to hose off my shoes more than a few times after a walk. Not to mention they are very aggressive during when nesting.


  2. thebigbookofdating / Nov 19 2011 4:46 am

    Such great photos


  3. Mary / Nov 19 2011 7:07 am

    Fabulous photos, Leslie!


  4. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / Nov 19 2011 7:43 am

    Wow, those are fabulous. I especially love the marching geese…LOL


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:07 am

      They were moving pretty fast. I was glad they weren’t aiming at me, they can be aggressive when they get annoyed. I think they were just regrouping.


  5. Louise / Nov 19 2011 7:53 am

    I love Canada Geese, and I love the photos you took. Herons and egrets are interesting in their differences around the world. I hope you enjoy my bird photos today, as much as I enjoyed yours.


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:06 am

      I always enjoy your photos and the opportunity to see birds that I would never see here. And such colorful ones too!


  6. Beth F / Nov 19 2011 8:26 am

    How lucky to be able to walk to the wetlands park. We have a marsh preserve very close by, but I have to drive to get there and thus don’t explore as much as I’d like.


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:23 am

      That’s my go-to place when I need a nature fix. The larger preserves are only a short drive away. I feel very fortunate to have a choice of places to go, and many are free.


  7. Lisa@ButteryBooks / Nov 19 2011 8:46 am

    I love the picture of the bird in flight!


  8. Jill / Nov 19 2011 8:54 am

    I never get very good photos of birds, yours are great!


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:25 am

      Thanks. You need a lot of patience to get birds. The best photos are when they come to you. And sometimes I get lucky when a bird lands in front of me.


  9. Paulita / Nov 19 2011 8:58 am

    Those geese don’t even leave Ohio any more. I love watching them fly over in a V though. I guess I didn’t realize the heron migrates, but of course it must. Thanks for sharing. Here’s My Saturday Snapshot


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:30 am

      A lot of geese stay here in Illinois too. I know the Herons leave my area. The ponds freeze over so it would be difficult for them to find food, unlike the geese who seem to eat anything.


  10. BermudaOnion / Nov 19 2011 9:22 am

    We have 2 small ponds in our neighborhood and see a lot of Canada Geese and some herons too. I wish I could take great pictures like yours so I could capture them.


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:37 am

      Birds move so it takes patience and a lot of deleted blurred photos… I’m sure you could do it!


  11. laurelrainsnow / Nov 19 2011 9:38 am

    Awesome photos! Whenever I see geese, I always think of November and the Thanksgiving season, because that was the time of year I would notice the flocks of geese and hear them as they took flight.

    Thanks for sharing.



    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:31 am

      Last year on Thanksgiving Day I heard all this honking (even with the windows closed) and when I looked outside there was a huge flock of geese flying by in waves. It was beautiful to see.


  12. Lisa / Nov 19 2011 9:54 am

    Geese are lovely in flight — and I prefer it if they just keep flying. They are not friendly critters on the ground. That’s a terrific photo of the heron! I see them occasionally on my way to work, but not this time of year. Great pictures, as always.

    Here’s my Snapshot


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 10:36 am

      During nesting season they can be pretty aggressive. These geese didn’t care I was there.


  13. smellincoffee / Nov 19 2011 10:38 am

    That first shot is INCREDIBLE. Talk about capturing the moment!


  14. Sheila (Book Journey) / Nov 19 2011 11:24 am

    I love that first pic of “take off” very cool!


  15. Alyce / Nov 19 2011 11:46 am

    That first photo is a lovely action shot!


  16. Amy / Nov 19 2011 1:33 pm

    I think Canadian Geese are beautiful and elegant looking with the long black necks…your photos certainly show this!. Years ago I used to see them often because a group of Canadian Geese used to hang around the pond and property where my sister rode her horse …they can be very irritable and also goofy from what I remember. I used to love watching them…thanks for the photos of the canadian geese, they brought back some good memories :o)


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 3:11 pm

      Happy to have provided good geese memories. They are usually peaceful if not friendly… unless it’s nesting season, then they bite.


  17. irene / Nov 19 2011 2:08 pm

    Great shots, we have those Canada geese here too, they are very messy.


  18. Patti Smith / Nov 19 2011 2:51 pm

    We’ve noticed quite a few geese around our lake lately…they must be geese from Chicago!! 🙂


    • Leslie / Nov 19 2011 3:09 pm

      Oh, so that’s where they went! The ones that are here now must be the real Canadian ones.


  19. kaye / Nov 19 2011 3:26 pm

    Wow, what gorgeous photos! I can never get close enough here to get a good shot of the herons.


  20. mostraum / Nov 19 2011 4:08 pm

    Great photos.
    I’m always happy to hear about new animal sanctuaries and national parks, they are so important for the whole planet.


  21. storygal / Nov 19 2011 4:31 pm

    Do you use a zoom lens on your camera? Excellent shots!


  22. Vicki / Nov 19 2011 4:40 pm

    They’re all good photos, but the first one is amazing!
    Here’s My Photo


  23. Suko / Nov 19 2011 7:25 pm

    Truly beautiful photos, once again! Have a lovely Thanksgiving.


  24. LadyInRead / Nov 19 2011 7:34 pm

    Amazing photos! the first one is great.


  25. Stacy (A Novel Source) / Nov 19 2011 9:30 pm

    Oh how beautiful – and what a perfect shot of the bird in motion! How nice it must have been to stumble across the geese


  26. Karen @ Scobberlotch / Nov 20 2011 9:32 am

    I love that second shot. They look like they are on a mission! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :


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