The herons return

I look forward to this day every year: when the Blue Herons return to the heronry near my house.

Last Wednesday as we headed out to meet friends, we spotted this big guy sitting in the cottonwood tree by our pond. He seemed unconcerned that I sat nearby for ten minutes and took his picture... maybe because he was 50 feet above the ground. Was he there to check on the food supply in our pond? Or was he scoping out the trees for a possible nesting site?

I drove past the heronry a couple of times this week, checking on the nests. Today when I went for my walk on the trail, two birds flew right overhead. A man with a Canon dSLR on a tripod came around the corner; he pointed to the birds, and said he'd been photographing the birds in flight. But he didn't know there was a heronry right down the road.

There's one place on the trail where you can see into the stand of dead trees where the nests are. This late in the morning, most of the birds were off in the marsh. So tomorrow I'll be there first thing, before the nesting pairs leave to look for food.

This telephoto photograph was taken across the marsh, and shows just a small part of the heronry. If you look closely, you'll see seven herons in the picture.

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