I decided to head over to the North Mississippi Regional Park in Minneapolis to look for another sure sign of spring. This park is not very large but it runs along the Mississippi River near a small island which is the location of a great blue heron rookery. Each spring the herons return here to nest, lay eggs, and raise their young.
I actually thought that I might be a bit too early, since the weather had just turned warm with in the past week or so and I had not seen any reports on the local list server, but I was happy to see that the herons had already returned.
Only a few of the herons had paired up already. Unfortunately it was too windy for them to work on nest building, once they pair off the males will go out and find sticks that they will bring back to the nest and offer to the female who will use it to do a little remodeling. Most of the activity was from males fighting over nests, a good nest is a sure way to attract a female. This would occasionally lead to one of them taking off, or getting pushed off. They would then circle the island and have to fight the headwind to land in a new location which allowed me to get some nice flight shots.