As summer comes to a close, a rare bird visits the pond.

 

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Dragonflies fly amongst the green blades of sedges and marsh grass, occasionally pausing to cling to one.

 

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The browning leaves of yellow pond lilies are another favorite dragonfly perch.

 

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Other times, dragonflies cling to tree trunks and stumps.

 

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In woods near the pond, woodpeckers can be heard tapping their bills on tree trunks in search of insects.

 

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As the sun sinks in the sky, the pond rattles with call of a kingfisher, and a green heron glides across the water into the trees.

 

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It’s almost dusk when a ghostly bird flies out of the tall trees.

 

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Approaching a dead tree at the southern edge of the pond, the bird spreads its wings before landing.

 

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It might be mistaken for an egret, but the stranger is a juvenile Little Blue Heron. Eventually, it will have blue feathers, but young birds have white feathers along with a grayish bill and yellow legs. In Maryland, Little Blue Herons are usually seen in wetlands near the Chesapeake Bay. This far inland, it is a rarity, and its presence is probably temporary.

 

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The heron studies the pond for a few minutes. Then, as if realizing that it had strayed from its flight plan, the bird flies off in the direction of the Potomac River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay.

 

 

 

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