March highlights: Great Blue Herons have continued to occupy the colony near downtown Bolinas, with 7 nests in the incubation stage. The heavy rains beginning around Mar 10, which battered and wilted the early Douglas Irises and other flowers that bloomed during the warm days of February, appear to have done little to deter the Herons from their nesting attempts on the Bolinas side of the lagoon. Elsewhere in the SF Bay Area, other heron and egret species are busy with their nesting: Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets and Snowy Egrets have been busy building nests in Santa Rosa, and Black-Crowned Night-Herons have begun hatching in Oakland and possibly Santa Rosa. Great Egrets have continued to be regularly seen foraging around the shores of Bolinas Lagoon, and finally, around the weekend of Mar 19, Great Egrets were first observed in the Bolinas colony. Three neighboring pairs were all actively building, and another 2-3 individuals were roosting in the colony. One Great Egret was observed trying to pull a stick from the underside of a nest where a Great Blue Heron was incubating, without the heron appearing to care. From across the lagoon at Pitcher Canyon, several more egrets could be seen on the back side of the trees which could not be observed from the Bolinas Wharf. Kent Island may give us a better view of these birds.

1 or 2 Bald Eagles have been visiting the Bolinas colony on multiple occasions, at times flying and perching amidst the heron nests. There continues to be no evidence of heron or egret nesting in Pitcher Canyon.

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Black-Crowned Night-Heron in juvenile plumage (above).

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Photos by Scott Jennings