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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Return of the "Dumpster Heron"

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
Delaware County
June 18, 2011~ Photo by Holly Merker

Since summer of 2008, an adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron has (presumably) returned to a wetlands in Chadds Ford, just inside the Delaware County line. This fine looking bird has been dubbed "The Dumpster Heron"by some birders, since it is most easily seen by standing behind a dumpster in the parking lot of Hank's Place Restaurant on Route 1 in Chadds Ford. The sometimes secretive night-heron can be hit or miss, and this past Saturday was no exception.
Brian Henderson and I tried for the heron around 4:45pm, and had no luck after vigilant scanning. We decided to take a walk along the boardwalk at the John Chadd's house up the street on Creek Road, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bird from another vantage point in this extensive marsh. No luck for us there, but the walk was pleasant as we noted a variety of other birds, a family of muskrats, and a crayfish searching for food in mud.
Forty minutes or so later, we decided to take one more peek behind the dumpster, and see if the night-heron was there. Sure enough, there it was--out in the open and allowing us appreciative looks.
No telling what the restaurant patrons think, as a people wander behind the dumpster with binoculars and camera in hand! However, local birders are very appreciative of Hank's Place for tolerating our visits, and allowing us the opportunity to see this relatively uncommon and elusive species for our area.

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