Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Finally back and back online after someone in the neighbourhood apparently dug up something they shouldnt have and cut all our DSL services off.
I didnt really get to post the last couple of days up there either but I was out taking pictures.
One of the really nice things the Town Of Luray did in the last few years was to turn their creek, which was a typical stream running through a small town and rather icky, into something clean and interesting and a real feature.
The Hawksbill Creek, which incidently starts at the falls in the mountains that  we visited a few days ago, is now the centre of the Hawksbill Greenway
We took a walk around the one circuit the first rather damp day and 2 evening stolls along the whole length later in the week. Its now a Class A trout stream amongst other things, right in the middle of town. And lots of fish means lots of fish eaters. Any evening here you can see three species of Heron hunting.
Theres the regular old Blue Heron that we have on our own pond and all over the area.
Then theres the much smaller Green Heron (Butorides virescens ) which also visits our pond but I've never got a decent picture of at home. These are very striking with a dark glossy green back and a russett breast.
Alas it was getting a little dark when I snapped this one and the colours could show up better.
And then there is the Black Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax ) It is, apparently, the most widespread heron on the planet spanning 5 continents. But I'd not seen one before. And up here on the Greenway they were everywhere. In the stream side trees,
Or perching on the bridge footings as the sun went down.
I still went the whole week without a decent dragonfly picture due to the high river levels and without much in the way of moths thanks to the damp rainy or foggy nights which kept them largely out of the air.
I did get a pic of one of my favourite bugs though. The Nut Weevil Curculio caryae is apparently a serious pest of Pecan trees over here but sorry, its just too funny to be taken seriously by non-nut farmers.
Look at the schnozz on that!


  1. Hello there after much too long an absence. Goodness, what a rich flora and fauna you have over there! And I envy your ability to photograph birds which are just blurs and smudges in my own pictures. It's a very interesting point about the increase in prey attracting an increase in predators. As you know, we have the great magpie controversy over here in the Motherland: people want to shhot them when there seem to be too many because of their predation of smaller birds, but its a decline in the latter which has the real effect on Magpie numbers.

    All warm wishes and watch out for those millipedes


  2. Ah Martin! If you only knew how many pictures I deleted! Actually I got several good ones of the Black Crowned heron sitting in the tree. But that day I'd not taken the zoom lens with me and had to work with the macro I was carrying and a good deal of cropping after. The next 2 walks out there I did take the zoom and for various dull reasons like it getting dark to quickly. Suffice to say I didn't get another useable picture from either walk.
    I missed a chance today I suppose if you like photos of Turkey Buzzards tearing apart a couple of days dead road-kill possum. But I was just on the way to the DIY store and didn't have the camera. I did however have the windows open and there's no mystery as to how the Buzzards know something was dead! Great eyesight my ass.