Great Blue Heron and the surf

Here at Creative Potager we haven’t been down for walk on the beach for a while. It must be time – yes? About yesterday’s adventure with a Great Blue Heron and a good strong surf, will that do? Get all settled in because here we go…

It was about three o’clock in the afternoon and a wee bit of sun was coming out after a morning of heavy rain, hail and even a bit of snow. Miss Prissy, the old blue ford 4×4 seemed as ready as we were to go stretch our legs down at Reef Bay. David and I chatter away at each other as we stop in at the Farm Gate Store. We have a quick visit with the owners Don and Shanti McDougall as we pick up local eggs, bread, plum jam and a few other odds and ends. One more stop at the Trading Post to pick up our weekly bottle of red wine and then it is time to head for the sea.

Of course we had to stop and check out the daffodil field along the way. Not enough blooms for a photo op yet. Soon though, very soon.

As we come by Oyster Bay I can see the surf is up and we almost stop there but I had a hankering for Reef Bay. By now you know it is a favourite and I thought we might be just a bit more sheltered from the wind. Pulling that old ford around on the half-acre at the entrance to the trail to the water we park. I leap ahead and David comes along more leisurely behind.

Right away I spot the Great Blue Heron over on side of the reef closest to the Strait of Georgia. These birds are a bit skittish here and keep their distance. So I get my camera set and begin the trek to see if I can meander close enough to get a good photograph.

Oh, I am spotted but still the heron seems content to pretend to meander just a little way down the reef hoping I haven’t noticed it. As it disappears behind a rock I think it thinks I have missed it. Then up pops its head. I move the camera just slightly to position the frame and there it goes…..

At first it is high over the crashing surf and then swoops down in a long glide close to the water.

(image available for purchase HERE

I go back to enjoying the surf for a few minutes

thinking about the sea

and the sandstone…

life and relationships and time.

The heron is contentedly hidden among the seagulls as I watch the Oyster Catchers and notice another large storm cloud coming our way.

With stiff fingers from the brisk wind I look to see where David might be as I make my way carefully back across the sandstone. The tide is coming in and I must clamber over the boulders to reach the beach again.

SEED: The Great Blue Heron is a favourite bird for many and particularly nature photographers. Its beauty and prehistoric squawk seem to keep our attention longer than most shore birds.

Great blue herons’ size (3.2 to 4.5 feet/1 to 1.4 meters) and wide wingspan (5.5 to 6.6 feet/1.7 to 2 meters) make them a joy to see in flight. They can cruise at some 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 kilometers) an hour.

Though great blue herons hunt alone, they typically nest in colonies. They prefer tall trees, but sometimes nest in low shrubs. Females produce two to seven eggs, which both parents protect and incubate. Chicks can survive on their own by about two months of age.

reference: National Geographic at

Well, I hope you enjoyed your seaside walk and feel refreshed and energized to meet the day! All the best, from Mayne Island to wherever you are in this grand world of ours.

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

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From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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10 thoughts on “Great Blue Heron and the surf

  1. wow, Wow, WOW!

    Terrill, you did a FANTASTIC job of capturing this magnificent creature in your photographs. That virtual tour was so real, you’ll need to excuse me while I go wipe the ocean spray off my face and clothes.

  2. What great photos of the heron. I like how the heron relates to the ocean in your photos; it’s not isolated but a part of the landscape. Thanks for taking us on your walk.

  3. This is visually as captivating as National Geographic, though this is more spontaneous looking. But the heron is a beautiful creature and you have captured a wonderful movement here.

  4. Pingback: Large birds are easier to identify | Living Life in Glorious Colour

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