Judy and I walked pre-dawn this morning. We often see Big Blue standing knee-deep at the neck that reaches north to near the road just east of our home. Illuminated by the street lamp, he stood there once more. I suppose we appeared too suddenly — he spooked to the south, quickly disappearing into the darkness.
Ninety minutes later post-breakfast, we went out to the patio with coffee mugs in-hand. Big Blue stood on the near-east shore, likely seeking his own breakfast. We watched him for thirty minutes, including a lake-exit and stroll up the grassy slope. We all three heard thunder rumbling to the south and southwest, inexorably approaching. Radar depicted a meso-scale convective complex lifting to the ENE, fueled by an upper disturbance and loaded with Gulf moisture. Big Blue took flight and headed to the second pond as the rain became steadier.
We also watched a kingfisher alternate between two perches, rattling occasionally and constantly making forays into the water. More than a dozen geese also entertained us, chatting and bugling constantly, making a great deal of noise and creating quite a disturbance on the water. A sharp bolt of lightning sent Judy inside. Shortly thereafter, another great blue heron appeared in the SE, bee-lining it at 100 feet altitude above the lake and rooftops toward the WNW. By then the rain intensified, thunder pounded, and a fresh breeze brought sheets of rain under the patio roof. Even I sought shelter indoors.
We returned home from our daughter’s at sunset. Big Blue awaited us at the base of our lot, standing at a small willow clump. He was as close as he could be. He spooked as I walked onto the patio, once more flying just above the water’s surface to the second pond. Twenty minutes later, at deep dusk, he came back, landing on the near-east shore. We could see him only another five minutes before darkness obscured him.
A banner Big Blue day. Four sightings of our resident Big Blue and a fly-over by another. Add in the Canada geese and the kingfisher, as well as mallards, mourning doves, crows, killdeer, red-wing blackbirds, and house finches, and it was just a great day.