Great Blue Heron in a great grey sky

We’re relaxing on the rocks at the side of the Potomac River when a Great Blue Heron flies straight past us. It’s massive. It’s too big to fit in my viewfinder:

Great Blue Heron at Great Falls - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Its black flight feathers are a stunning contrast against the air force blue of the plumage.

It lands just across from us on a rock and stands like a statue:

Great Blue Heron at Great Falls - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It seems bigger and distinctively taller than the Grey Herons I’ve seen in the UK:

Autumn Heron Portraits

It’s got distinctive burgundy coloured patches on its shoulders:

Great Blue Heron at Great Falls - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Here’s Audubon’s illustration from 1834 which shows all the plumage details beautifully:

Great Blue Heron - Audubon

We watch it for an age. It stands unmoving. Just as my attention wanders it takes to the skies again and I get a shot of it in flight, this time with its legs showing:

Great Blue Heron at Great Falls - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I watch it as its great wings power it across the river:

Great Blue Heron at Great Falls - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Later, I see one high in the sky against the grey clouds.

Great Blue Heron at Great Falls - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s been a thrill to see such a big heron so close.

Previous Post
Zebra Swallowtail - Eurytides marcellus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A Swallowtail butterfly striped like a zebra

There's a swallowtail butterfly species I've never seen before fluttering around me. It's too close to focus on. I move away and so ... Read more

Next Post
Great Blue Skimmer - Libellula vibrans - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Great Blue Skimmer - Libellula vibrans

There's a Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly, Libellula vibrans, at the bottom of this Virginia garden. It's a handsome beast: I creep a little ... Read more

Feel free to leave a Reply :)