It was a damp, dark, chilly morning this Sunday. After breakfast and lounging around the house we could stand it no more and decided to take our changes… we’d head to the heron rookery! We arrived just as a large hole in the thick overcast delivered blue sky and warming sunlight. The scene along Bath Road was much quieter today. Nest building appeared to be done and the Great Blue Herons were mostly sitting on or perched near their nests. We presume, at this point, the birds are sitting on clutches of eggs. The homey scene was marred, however, by a sad sight. Somehow one of the adult birds had died, its lifeless body dangling from branches near a nest. Occasionally another, presumably its mate, would alight nearby and remain nearby perhaps wondering why there was no greeting, no reaction from its partner. I recorded a few cheerier scenes of birds flying or occupying their nests. All too soon the sky closed up again, drizzle returned, and we sought the warm shelter of our car.
We’d set out today with the intent of also exploring the Ira Road Trailhead, an access point to a long boardwalk crossing a wetland area only a short distance north from the rookery. By the time we reached the parking lot, the drizzle had nearly ended and we set out for the boardwalk. We were greeted with lovely, dark scenes of lily pads, ducks and geese plying the water, Redwing Blackbirds, a turtle on a log, a Great Blue Heron slowly fishing along a neighboring shoreline. I got many more images to my liking from the Ira Road area than from the rookery today. My favorite was a Cardinal. I stalked the cardinal as I walked along the edge of the parking lot. First he was high in the trees, red feathers ruffled by the cold wind. Then the bird dropped into lower trees and shrubs. Finally he disappeared into the leafing brush. Fingers stiff and aching from exposure (we both shot big batches of photos), we made our way home happy that we had spent time with nature on a fine miserable day.
Appropriate wishes to all for a happy Earth Day every day!