Monday, March 7, 2016

A Lovely Day at the Locks, part 1

On Saturday the sun came out and the temperatures got into the 60s, so I spent a lot of time outside.  Tina and I ventured forth with dogs in tow to the Hiram M. Chittenden locks in Ballard to check out the heron nesting colony there.  We wound up staying over three hours, taking photos and sketching.  It was, as Tina later remarked, "a magical day."

When we first arrived, things seemed a little quiet over by the heron colony.  We strolled across the locks, as the colony is on the far side.

While on the pedestrian bridge over the locks, we suddenly heard a racket -- dozens of Great Blue Herons suddenly swooped off the nests and soared over the train bridge.  An eagle had disturbed them.

We hurried across for better viewing of the nests.

One by one, the herons flew back to the colony.

We were entranced.  We must have spent close to an hour just watching herons and trying to get photos -- a challenging task.  After taking a hundred or so pictures, I finally looked down at the water and noticed a lovely flock of Barrow's Goldeneyes heading my way.

They were extremely cooperative.  These are the best shots I've ever taken of these beautiful birds.

 Then I noticed the lone Double-crested Cormorant hanging out:

And finally, a bit far off, I spotted a Red-necked Grebe:

Then the herons started soaring out from the nests again, and I simply had to take even more photos of them:

And then they flew back to their nests, and of course, that meant even more photos...can one ever have too many photos of Great Blue Herons?

Well, okay, that's probably plenty.  I took a grand total of 316 photos that day, though not all were of herons, of course.  Such wonderful birds, in such wonderful light -- it was fabulous.

And we still had more fun ahead, for we had brought our sketching supplies!  Stay tuned tomorrow for part two!


  1. Wow. No I don't think you can ever have too many photos of herons. They are simply majestic. Your photos are terrific. It was a day made for birders!

  2. I envy you your red-necked grebe but agree that one can never get enough heron action.