Black Heron

I was astonished this year to see a BLACK heron, or possibly egret. It has a favorite hunting perch on the bank of a retention pond near our home. It’s about the size of the smaller white egrets that come up to us from the Gulf Coast.
I went on-line to see what I could find about them, and discovered that they are an AFRICAN species. How the heck did he get here? I wonder if he was blown off course and into hurricane winds that brought him across the Atlantic, and can’t make the trip back against the prevailing winds?
It seems as though I’ve seen more variations in our feathered friends this year. Not only do we have small and large white egrets, but we have the great blue herons with a lot of variation in their markings. It’s been a pleasure to watch the birds in the early morning as I drive through a major refuge on my way to exercise, and I love to see them in flight.
And, this year I have set up a quilt studio, with my sewing machine at an east-facing window. I had the blinds pulled open during the afternoon, and Ed, the cat was sitting on the edge of the table, watching for chipmunks. We were both surprised when a tiny hummingbird flew up and hovered just outside the window from Ed. Usually they don’t stay long enough for us to get a good look. It’s astonishing just how petite they are, and how fast their wings are beating.
I love all the birds that come to visit, but the herons and hummingbirds have been a real pleasure this year.