Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: Great blue herons are very territorial, and are that way from the moment they fledge from the nest.  Each bird wants his share on the shoreline … and will fight to maintain control of the area.  The fledgling great blue heron tried to land on the shore of the riprap.  He was promptly flattened by a subadult great blue heron – about 1 1/2 years-old – who had a stake on that piece of property.  The ensuing fight was loud and quite aggressive on both sides.  The fledgeling is the one whose head is mostly a mottled brown and the subadult has a lot of white on his face and the beginning of the black striped cap of an adult.  Neither bird seemed worse for the fight as the fledgling, for the moment relinquishing thoughts of acquiring the piece of shoreline, headed for the opposite side of the river.  It finally got quiet on the riprap.

The sun was hot and bright.  The Haw River was running gently.  A great blue heron fledgling was fishing … sometimes he got his fish … sometimes he missed.  Practice is both the key to the catch and the key to getting the fish from the front of the beak to inside the beak and down the throat!

 

Jordan Dam, Haw River: I had seen the black vulture flock come into the parking lot earlier.  They are always looking for left over hotdogs and fried chicken pieces. They are quite adept at taking the lids off the trashcans and helping themselves to the human throw-aways that are inside.  My attention was drawn back to the vultures when I heard the lid of the trashcan hit the pavement.  I started photographing as one of the younger vultures noticed the sign … I could almost hear him thinking, “my friend is stuck in the trashcan, he needs help, and well, just how am I supposed to dial 911 when I don’t have an iPhone?”.  I put my camera down, quietly walked up on the flock, gently tipped the trashcan over on its side freeing the vulture inside of it. The flock chirred their thanks and we watched the embarrassed vulture walk away.  Sometimes, you just never know what will happen at the lake…

Jordan Lake, Haw River: Great blue herons are actually gray, until, just until you see them, literally in the right light. Such as finding this fledgling great blue heron this morning in the shadows of the banks of the riprap as the sun had fully cleared the horizon. Azure blue air, water and heron!

Not One but TWO! Yes, two fish at the same time. One in each talon. The osprey tried hard to hold onto both fish, but, one got away; you can see the fish drop away. I believe this is a subadult male – about 2-years-old – and still without a mate. As strong and determined as he is, he probably won’t have trouble finding a suitable mate late next winter. WOW! Two at Once!!!