Bird-watcher extraordinaire Jim Alexander has several new notes, including the possibility of two pairs of great white egrets settling in downtown Richmond for this week’s Pipeline great blue heron rookery update:
The rookery is bustling: they are sprucing up their nests, settling in, preening, displaying, mating… and beak sharpening, as if it’s the eve of a hunting party. I’m seeking signs of clutches, yet I have no idea what those signs might be. I can only think that a settled female won’t stand, and maybe that is starting to happen. Most nests appear settled.
Spotted a second osprey nest. This one is behind the rookery on the Norfolk Southern rail trestle. How they tolerate the occasional train rumbling within feet below astonishes me.
Four white heron like birds reappeared in the rookery this morning to visit or nest I’m not sure. Last year there were two pair of them nesting. They’ve been gone for over a month. To my untrained eye, they have the markings of the great white egret (rather than a white morph of the great blue). They have a lime green strip in front of their eyes, like the buds on the tips of the tree twigs. I wonder how the rookery activity shifts under the full moon light of the emerging spring.