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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Great White Heron Chase in Philly

 For the past week or so, a Great White Heron has been hanging out on the Manayunk Canal in NW Philly about a half hour from my house. This morning I braved the traffic on I-76 and headed up there. I shouldn't have worried about parking, there was ample 2 hour street parking nearby, and I took the stairs down to the canal to look for the bird. I didn't have to even look for the bird, it was standing right there at the bottom of the stairs, twenty feet out in the canal, with a couple people standing their looking at it already.  Beautiful bird!





This is the presumed sixth occurrence of the Great White Heron in Pennsylvania, and a first for Philadelphia. Since 1973 it has been considered a subspecies of the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias occidentalis), but many consider it to be a valid species (see note here). It is normally restricted to south Florida and the Keys, so a great bird to see up here in Philly.

So a great bird, but also in a great spot. The steps down to the canal were covered in mosaics and murals, and the canal itself is a scenic pathway next to the Schuykil River. A great spot to spend a few moments watching a great bird.







Back up in the neighborhood, I spotted a sign for tomato pie, which induced me to stop at Marchiano's Bakery. A half pie (an enormous 12x18 inches) was $9.25 so I was helpless to resist. Love me some tomato pie, a great Philly and NJ dish if you haven't had it, well worth a stop!




Good bird, scenic neighborhood, great food--makes for a nice urban birding adventure!

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