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02-28-2011, 06:27 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Great Falls, MD - Blue Heron Rookery!!!



I thought people in an near the DC Metro area might appreciate this unique opportunity to see a major Great Blue Heron Rookery and Bald Eagle nest.

The first image is a map of the Great Falls National park which is at the end of MacArthur Blvd in Potomac, MD.



Once parked, one crosses to the toepath via the bridge at the Great Falls Tavern. Once across the bridge one turns right (north) away from the Olmstead Island and walks about 30 yards north. At that point you will see (on the left) a concrete trail marker for the River Trail. After you walk down to the river (about 25 yards), across the river (see point #1 on the map) is an occupied Bald Eagle Nest. To give you an idea of distance, the first shot is with a DA-300mm uncropped and the second is the Da300mm at 100%.





Another 50-100 yards down the trail (around #2 on the map) you see the first of several Great Blue Heron nests across the river. From the satellite maps it appears to be 400-500 yards. To give up an idea of the type of glass you will need, here are shots of the Rookery that are either uncropped or 100% cropped.

Enjoy!









02-28-2011, 06:46 PM   #2
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I would recommend early morning shots while the lighting is best. Grab it quick before the trees start to leaf out.
02-28-2011, 08:25 PM   #3
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Great post, Chuck! There's some good smallmouth fishing in that area too. I've got a bead on a Yellow-Crowned Heron colony (but it's on a small stream so I'm not advertising it ;~)
03-01-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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thanks ! looks like I ll have to brave traffic though...

03-09-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Went last saturday,lots of herons, unfortunately it was overcast and it started drizzling a little.
It seemed that they stayed on their island or went towards the VA side, I had only 1 heron go back and forth once on the MD side. I missed taking a pic of the eagle since I was leaving ...

First time I went somewhere photographing specifically for birds outside of traveling.
My pics looks nowhere as sharp but thats understandable from a 100-300mm zoom.
03-09-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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Sorry it wasn't a homerun. I plan to give it a try this Saturday...
03-15-2011, 03:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info/heads up Chuck. I may swing by on my way home from work one afternoon now that I am working in Bethesda again.

Mike
03-15-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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Hey Mike I hope you have a great outing. I was there last weekend and the River was so high I could not get to the River Trail. Hence you may want to call the Ranger Station at Great Falls and confirm that the River Trail is open again before you go out for a shoot.

All the best

C. Durfor

03-16-2011, 04:08 AM   #9
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According to the USGS the river seems to be settling down somewhat.
03-27-2011, 06:35 AM   #10
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Went yesterday and the sunrise lighting was fantastic! None the less its still a bit far for my DA300/with Tamron 1.4x TC on a tripod. But it was great to watch. Of note, cormorants and herons nest almost in the same trees. I expect the view will disappear shortly as the trees begin to leaf out...

Here's a few from yesterday..







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