Heron and hawk highlight bird-picture picnic

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, August 4, 2016

A red tailed hawk perches nervously on fencepost before taking flight, while a great blue heron struts its stuff in local pond.  Photos by Warren and Mary Anna Harbeck

I have a really good-looking wife.

Why, just the other morning, while Mary Anna and I were driving up the hill along Highway 22 south of the river, she was looking west out the passenger-side window and noticed a beautiful great blue heron in a roadside pond.

“Oh, Warren, I wish we had time for a photo!” she said.

We didn’t, but we promised each other we’d return later that day for our annual bird-picture picnic.

And we did. Amazingly, as we pulled up alongside the pond where Mary Anna had first seen the great blue, it was still there! She rolled down her window and handed me my Nikon D800.

I brought the camera to my eye and snapped a shot through her open window, and then began creeping forward for a better angle. But before I could get that “perfect” shot, Great Blue took flight. Oh, and was its wingspan ever magnificent! But sadly, no second shot.

It was quite a different story a few minutes later when Mary Anna and I approached the Trans-Canada Highway along Jumping Pound Rd. Mary Anna had been scanning the ponds along that scenic ranch drive, but no birds to see, midday as it was. Not until we reached the pond at the Trans-Canada, that is. And then, surprisingly, this fine feathered fellow wasn’t even in the pond.

Just as I was about to give up on that waterhole, Mary Anna gasped, “Look over your shoulder!”

I did – and just in time. A red tailed hawk was perching nervously on a fencepost barely 30 paces to my left. I hadn’t noticed it, but my keen-eyed wife had.

I grabbed a quick shot of our restless friend. But hearing the click, Red took flight. This time, however, I was able to grab a second shot to celebrate its spectacular wingspan.

So, thanks again, Tweetheart, for looking so good!


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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