Friday, March 5, 2010

They're back!

Three days, Tuesday to Thursday, with a big discovery coming on Wednesday, when I saw for the first time this season the phenomena that started me writing this blog in the first place. The herons are back! Where? The heronry at Stanley Park. I know now that they haven't been far away at all. They spend their "vacation" around the rivers and ponds and oceans of the Lower Mainland, hunting for food, mostly, it seems, by themselves. When breeding time arrives, they congregate, and as far as I can tell, that gathering happens en masse. One day, there are no herons. The next, pretty well all of the nests are occupied. The activity level is fascinating, with mating rituals and nest building going on at a feverish pace.

Apart from the herons and other birds I've been enjoying, there is something else in the air. Paralympics! Just over a week away now, with the torch coming through, and excitement building. "aka Penelope" has done a wonderful post, eloquently expressing her thoughts on the subject. I think you would love her blog. I know I do.

Back to my three days:

Tuesday - a Canada Goose with a sore foot, but I think doing okay. It was at least able to put weight on it.
It seemed to be energetic.
As always, the open wings seem extraordinary to me.

On the way home, I stopped to admire the late afternoon sky.


I walked with my friend, Dianne. I love it that she makes sure to stop by regularly. We met another old friend, Cocoa Chanel, and her wonderful human, Josie. Those two have so much fun together! It is always joyful to see them.
Josie told me that Cocoa doesn't let many people photograph her. Perhaps, that is because she knows we can never fully do her justice. I am honoured that she allows me to do my best, and vow to keep working on capturing the beautiful contrasts in her face.

The herons, in late afternoon light.
I think the one on the left was hoping to steal the nest. I hadn't thought about that as one of the challenges herons must face.
Waiting for a mate?
The light over the water.


A female Hooded Merganser,
her mate,
and the pair of them together.

I watched this seagull determinedly dive into the water over and over again. I'm not sure what was causing the struggle. Perhaps a fish that was giving up quite a fight?
And, the entire sequence was repeated, over and over and over.

This lovely little bird (house finch?) was singing up a storm in the late afternoon, just as I was heading home. I had to stop.
This robin was sitting in the next tree, also singing up a storm. Loved its fanned tail.

A quick stop to check on the herons. They were very busy, but the light was almost gone. Here, one reaches up to grab a stick from the other.
Last light.
Last minutes for me as well. Must head off to work. As always, thanks for taking time to read my blog.


  1. Thanks for providing a link to my blog, Carol, and for stopping by. Your comments make me feel like I won a gold star!

    As always, your nature pictorial is a breath of fresh air. Your wildlife shots provide a fascinating glimpse into the private lives of birds. And the sunsets are stunning. I saw a surreal sky a couple of evenings ago that had me in awe of the universe and how small I was in it.

  2. Oh. My. Goodness. Could there be more beautiful colours than those in the sky at sunset, or the golden-orange framing the heron?

    I am so looking forward to following this year's adventures of the herons and their babes.

  3. Thanks, Penelope and Jean.

    Penelope, you did and always do:) And, yes, that feeling of being a tiny spec in an incredible universe is one that I also share.

    Jean, I do love that the colours around us change all the time. I noticed that the original nest that started this blog appears to be one of the best constructed and already very active. It is one that needs early morning shots, because of the placement of the sun, but I hope to follow it as much as I can. I was thinking I'll have to name the parents. I have such a strong feeling that they are the same pair, even though herons generally remain monogamous for only one season.