The other day we had been working on the boat all day without the chance to get off the boat. So about 4pm we took a trip to a nearby shore and let Diva get some exercise. It was a low tide so there was lots of beach. Upon reaching shore Diva right away was running up and down the beach. Nearby there was a Great Blue Heron catching fish in the shallow water. These are very large and beautiful birds. They stand about 4 feet tall, long legs and have blueish gray feathers. Darker feathers on the crown of their heads and sometimes white and a dark blue-gray feathers on their wings. As Diva neared not paying any attention to the beautiful bird, the heron started to growl in a way only a heron can. For those who have never heard it, their squawk is very distinctive. A low gravelly rumble that sounds like it could be some land animal threatening an approaching foe. Since the growling wasn’t working the heron flew off. We continued our stroll down the beach.
About 10 minutes later we happened across this same heron again in it’s new location. Diva having a good time investigating the entire beach, wandered too close to the bird and again more squawking and growling to voice its displeasure before relenting and flying off. And we continued our stroll.
After an hour of walking we eventually made it back to our dinghy and wouldn’t you know it, the same heron was feeding near it’s original location. Of course you guessed it, Diva ended up causing it to fly off, squawking and growling madder now than ever. Probably wondering if he was ever going to get rid of the annoying people who kept disturbing all of his favorite feeding spots. It may also have been planning a way to get back at us.
Done with our walk we loaded up in the dinghy and headed back to Stray Catz at anchor. On the way out of the small river we had parked in, we passed a small sand bar where that same heron was standing on the far side giving us a very evil eye and watching us the entire way. Who knows for sure what was going through this bird’s mind. All I know is what happened later.
After returning to Stray Catz we were back to doing some of the little stuff that is always needing done on her. As I was standing in the salon door looking outside, the beautiful Great Blue Heron flew up and semi landed on the top of the sugar scoop. He saw me and I saw him. He sort of stood there for a few seconds voicing a few words before flying off. I thought at the time it was rather lucky encounter to be so close to this very large bird. In hind sight, I believe he just flew over to verify which boat we had returned to.
The next day we had business in town and we were off Stray Catz most of the day. When we returned in the afternoon we were greeted with a gift from the Great Blue Heron. One thing is for certain about very large birds. They have very large waste piles. And sure enough this bird must have seen us leave in the morning and spent the rest of the day relieving itself on our boat. Needless to say there was a mess to clean up. But I don’t think he was finished.
Later that evening we visited some friends on another boat. Upon exiting from the inside of their boat to return to the dinghy, there was that same heron perched on our dinghy. I am not sure what he was planning, but luckily we thwarted his plans. Our friends are now nervous because we’ve been spotted on their boat.
It’s been a few days now and we’ve had no more visits from Big Blue (my name for him). I can only hope he feels vindicated for all of our disturbances. I love all the wildlife we are blessed to see while out here, and I wouldn’t normally believe in wildlife conspiracy theories. However in this particular instance, it seemed pretty clear to me this bird had an agenda. We had disturbed his dinner. Similar to an obnoxious telemarketer, and he held a grudge. I have no hard feelings toward Big Blue. In fact I would love the opportunity to see him again. I just hope our next visit is on better terms.
P.S. No animals were harmed in the telling of this tale.