Don’t Stand Under the Heron Rookery

The south side of the locks at Ballard has an area of trees along the water which is a heron rookery.  I have been there once when the herons were roosting.  That is not an appealing experience.  The herons are directly above the path and a lot of adult and juvenile birds in their nests results in an almost constant stream of “material” falling onto the bushes and path below.  It is perilous, the odor is intense and the ground underfoot is not as grippy as you might like.

In winter, the herons aren’t roosting, but the area is surprisingly unpleasant even then.  Some cormorants were up in the trees using it as a good spot for picking out their next fishing trip.  They did also imperil those below a little but not to the extent that the herons do.  The cold weather was doing a good job of suppressing the smell and also the slippery nature of the paths.  I took some images of a bench and the bushes which show just how much falls from above.  Heron chicks might be interesting to see but visit this location only when you know what you are letting yourself in for!

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