A Heron’s Flyby
On the last evening in the Khutzeymateen, we pulled up the anchor and cruised halfway westward down the inlet. It felt like I was going in the wrong direction as we sailed away from this home of the bears. We sheltered in a cove about halfway down the ten-mile inlet for the night and enjoyed a quick zodiac ride around this new area. There were a few seals who popped their heads out of the water to watch us as we puttered along the shoreline.
Ahead of dinner, I pulled up chair on the bow and enjoyed watching the day slide away. I had noticed some birds on the shore but they were a long distance from our location so I did not keep too sharp an eye on them. Until, one of the larger birds took to the air and made a direct line for the sailboat. Swiftly closing the distance between us, I realized this cove resident to be Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).
Herons are a favourite bird of mine. I love how they fly, huge wings tracing out powerful beats while their necks hold their heads back in a seemingly laid back manner. I see them frequently whether I’m on a lake in the mountains, near a marsh on the prairies or, luckily, on a boat in one of the most wonderful places I have ever been.
Drawing near, it was clear he was curious who was staying over that night and he had decided to complete a flyby to check us out. He flew within a couple of metres of my head, banked over the stern and flew back to the beach. Apparently we had not raised any ire as all of the birds continued with their activities along the water before nightfall.
Although I have spent a lot of time watching Great Blue Herons, I have never had one circle directly around me. I liked being their almost at his approval. Romantically, I thought of it as an acceptance of us being in this wild place for a few days. It was a gift to be able to end the last night with this highlight.
This entry was posted on September 12, 2013 by Christopher Martin. It was filed under Animals, Birds, Wildlife and was tagged with Ardea herodias, BIF, bird, British Columbia, Canada, flying, great blue heron, Khutzeymateen Inlet Sanctuary, nature photography, wildlife photography.