It was a cloudy cool day as we made our way along the Steigerwald trail from the parking lot towards the Columbia River. The wildlife refuge will close sometime this year to change the flow to allow the Columbia waters to make their way in and back out, giving Salmon a rest area. I am not sure when exactly it will close, but we will miss the wildlife viewing.
There were a couple of young deer close to the path that were not bothered by us humans.
Further along there were a pair of hawks gliding and swooping, looking for a tasty meal. One stopped for us to be able to take some photos.
There were also a few buffleheads diving under the water.
When we reached the bridge over the lake, we spotted at least 30-40 herons in the water and up in some trees Northwest of the lake.
The heron rookery is Southwest of the lake in a large stand of cottonwoods. It still has the remains of nests left over from last year. There were only one or two herons in the nest area. The rest were in the lake shallows or in the trees.
We walked to the Columbia dike and then headed back. As we were heading back, the herons gradually started to move to the nest area.
I think they were waiting for their reservations to be ready. Eventually all but about 3 moved to the nesting area. I don’t know if this is a standard part of the mating and nesting process, but it was an interesting dynamic.
So for the next month or so, you can see all the herons in and around the rookery.
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