doc ellen is NOT upside down
neither is the great blue heron way up the tree …
and the tree, well …
my friend and I were sitting under that tree
when the great blue heron flew in, landing directly above us
the bird proceeded to watch us down below as we looked up at him
I got to thinking that if the bird flew out I could get a neat slo mo video…

The BIG one doesn’t always get away …
this immature great blue heron caught this fish 
at the Jordan Lake Dam in the fog early this morning.
I didn’t get to see if he managed to swallow the fish.
The heron headed for the far bank and I lost him in the shadows.

In between watching eclipses and aerobatic bald eagles, I have kept my eye on other interesting critters …
This is father osprey plowing into the lake for a fish.


A white-tailed buck very calmly glanced my way and then went back to browsing.


Something must have tickled this great blue heron’s toes – he sure made a spectacular leap and didn’t take flight!

It was great fun watching the pileated woodpecker stop his hammering just long enough for me to get his portrait.


The three brassy little skipper butterflies were sharing a button bush blossom.

A trip to Lake Mattamuskeet needs to be on everybody’s  list.
 
It was at Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge that the Bald Eagle was re-introduced to NC.
 
The Bald Eagles then made their way inland to Jordan Lake.
 
Try your hardest to get there at sunrise – they are almost always spectacular from the causeway!
 
Adult bald eagle way across the front impoundment at Mattamuskeet.  
This time of the year the eagles can be hard to find at Mattamuskeet.
 
The lake and its surrounding area has beautiful cypress trees.
 
 
The still waters of the lake and the impoundments often give reflections that are wonderfully detailed.
Great Blue Heron fishing.
 
 
The insect life at Mattamuskeet is very diverse – with many different dragonflies.
Did you see the dragonfly shadow?
 
 
The white-tailed deer really enjoy the browsing at the lake.  
 
 
The yellow-billed cuckoo is also found at Jordan Lake.
 I hear rather than see them most of the time.
 
 
The zebra swallowtail butterfly is the only swallowtail in our region with white stripes.
 

One section of the riprap at the Jordan Lake dam erupted this morning in gronks and growls and squeals.
Two immature great blue herons were trying to claim a section of shoreline for themselves.
Notice that as the flight continues, the birds’ necks get longer and longer.
Normal flight for great blue herons is with the neck folded back into their shoulders.
The heron with the most elongated neck is proving that he is better than the other.
One of the youngsters actually ends up having to fold his neck back up and drag his toes to maintain flight.
PS: the green and red smudges near the end are leaf fringes that I am shooting through.