A Day at Rocky Hill: Great Blue Heron and Heron Colony

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Groton on April 15, 2015 (Part 2: focus on the heron colony)

Most heron colonies that I have visited are viewed from a low angle, with many of the nests seen against the sky, but the colony at Rocky Hill is unique in that it can be viewed from a high viewpoint.  From a high rocky bluff, you can watch about eight active heron nests at eye-level.  Here is what my painting set-up looked like:

Set-up at Rocky Hill

You can see a few of the heron nests in the top left corner of this photo.  On this breezy afternoon, the birds were hunkered down low on the nests to stay out of the wind.  In fact, many of the nests appeared empty until a bird would stand up – then the wind would toss their crown and crest plumes in all directions!

Heronry Studies, Rocky Hill - at 72 dpi

sketchbook page, 9″ x 12″

Sitting Tight - GB Heron on Nest, Rocky Hill, Groton - at 72 dpi

Sitting Tight, watercolor on Arches cold-press, 9″ x 12.25″

 

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