We were hearing an unfamiliar bird sound. Baby crows often make a similar racket, but this sound was different somehow… softer and less harsh. It was coming from the dense vegetation surrounding the brook in the field adjoining our property. Oddly, the sound seemed to be getting closer.
And then we could see movement, and this great blue heron stepped out of the bushes and started to walk toward us. These birds are huge. This one was close to four feet tall when he stretched his long neck, but from the colors of the head and beak I think it was not an adult bird. He continued to move nearer and nearer to where we were working, stopping now and again to stare intently at us.
For the last five years blue herons have been around here every summer, but always just one at a time. They show a great interest in our brook and ponds, and I would guess the frogs and minnows, so whenever we see them, we always try to encourage them to go somewhere else. All the herons we’ve seen over the years have been very reluctant to leave, but usually they will fly away if we move in very close to them.
Except for that one year and that one heron who didn’t fly away… and instead started running… right at me!