Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wow...great look at an American Bittern

As I was driving down our gravel road this morning, late as usual, I saw something standing on the side of the road, about a quarter mile from our driveway. The road crosses a cattail/sedge marsh there; sometimes in the spring the frost pushes up some of the old logs from when it was a corduroy road. I knew right away it was a bird, bigger than a grouse, and as I was thinking "bittern?" it flew up. It crossed the road about thirty feet in front of my car, close enough so I could see the brown and white striping along its underside. The only other thing it could have been was a green heron, but this was much bigger. It flew parallel to the car, about 30 miles per hour, for several hundred yards before it landed in the marsh. I have heard bitterns in the marsh behind the house many times, but never seen one, especially this close. And never have I seen a bird like that standing on the side of the road!

The white trilliums are starting to bloom; I first noticed them this morning on the slope of the west bank of the Kettle River near the kids' school. I forgot to mention I saw some wood anemone blooming in our woods Sunday morning. We don't have any white trillium near our house, but we do have nodding trillium, which produces a much more inconspicuous flower.

2 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

You have a website you'd recommend for increasing one's bird knowledge? We went to western Kentucky last weekend and I saw what I think was a (dazzingly beautiful) blue bunting, but I'm not all that when it comes to critters and would like to improve.

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