Prospect Park, 7/19/2020

Green heron and chicks, Prospect Park

Green heron chicks in nest, Prospect Park

Green heron, Prospect Park

Wasps' nest, Prospect Park

Eastern cicada killer wasp, Prospect Park

House wren, butt of, Prospect Park

Last week a fellow birder showed me photos that he had taken of green heron chicks in a nest. He told me where the nest was, roughly, but I wasn’t able to find it that day. This morning, a fellow dog walker who knows I take bird pictures flagged me down to tell me she had seen the nest, too, and explained the location a little more clearly. But once I got to the spot, all I could find was a paper wasps’ nest, busy with traffic. (Another kind of wasp, Eastern cicada killers, were out in a field in large numbers, busy not with a nest but with one another; maybe they were mating?) At last I did see a green heron, preening herself, in a tree between the path where I was standing and the water’s edge. “What a beautiful dog,” a man in a cap said, of Toby, who was waiting patiently, looped to a fence post, and after petting Toby, he joined me in trying to photograph the heron. After he left, a few bird photographers with professional tripods and lenses walked by. I asked one if he knew where the nest was; he admitted that there was one, but would only say that it was “around here,” and then added that the heron had flown away, in a tone that sounded meant to be discouraging. I kept looking. Finally another dog walker saw me peering into the trees, asked if I was looking for the heron’s nest, and pointed it out to me—a darkened smudge fairly high up.