After a week of rain and grey skies it was great to spend a day at Eagle Lake (Lassen County CA). The weather was sunny but cold, so the birds were not particularly active, which is to say I did not see the usual numbers. However, a great blue heron (Ardea herodias) did put on a wonderful show for me.
A year-round resident of our area, great blue herons can often be seen wading or standing perfectly still in shallow water searching for small fish, frogs, crayfish or other edibles. This heron was standing perfectly still, but did not appear to be feeding because he was looking away from the water. The heron would allow me to approach quite near before flying off and landing further down the shoreline. I would follow. Once I approached too close again, off it would go. What an opportunity to watch this elegant bird – and take plenty of photographs.
The white spots on the shore are the bleached shells of freshwater snails.