Great Blue Heron at Watts Mill Waterfall

   A Great Blue Heron watches for fish at the base of a waterfall at the Watts Mill Historic Site in Kansas City, Missouri.

A Great Blue Heron watches for fish at the base of a waterfall at the Watts Mill Historic Site in Kansas City, Missouri.

I’ve driven by the Watts Mill Historic Site a thousand times. Although it’s somewhat hidden,  it’s across from where I bought groceries for many years and down the street from my stylist’s former salon. I’d picked up my husband many times at the nearby car dealer when he was getting his car serviced. Favorite restaurants were nearby. How could I have missed this idyllic spot? I even knew about it. I just didn’t realize how peaceful and lovely it would be, nestled as it is among shopping centers and car dealerships.

My friend Lynn and I were on a photography expedition, and she pulled into the parking lot to check out the falls for a photography opportunity. We’ve had a lot of rain, so the water was really flowing.

The park, at 103rd and State Line, was a campsite for people heading out on the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails. The area that is now a park was the site of gristmill, built in 1832, known as Watts Mill (first known as Fitzhugh’s Mill), and then Watts Mill. The park is situated on the banks of Indian Creek where the creek flows across flat rocks and tumbles over a waterfall. This location was dedicated June 10, 1974, as a historic site.

Also enjoying the creek were plenty of Canada geese and mallard ducks, as well as songbirds.

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America as well as the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands.


Filed under Animals, Biology, Bird-watching, Birds, Environment, History, Kansas City

13 responses to “Great Blue Heron at Watts Mill Waterfall

  1. Carolina

    That’s so pretty!! I’ve never seen one of those!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynn

    Always fun to find something new in our area. Great pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynn. The New Santa Fe Cemetery was a surprise, too, when I heard about it a year ago, considering that I had shopped near there for decades. Eventually, I’ll post my photos on that and other trail info.


  3. Great Pictures. Thank you for sharing.


  4. Idyllic is the proper word. They are royalty in the heron family. We have some who visit our back yard daily. Be careful around ones that have been fed by well meaning but uninformed folks. They assume what is in your hands are meant for their tummies. My human was cleaning fish when a big blue decided the fillet in his hand should be bird feed and stuck its beak 3/8″ in the back of his hand. It was one of the few times I’ve ever heard the Geezer howl.


  5. Amazing photos, Cathy! Great that you can get so close to it. I never knew their colours are so exquisite… purplish. I saw one yesterday, but from afar, and it flew away just as made one step closer. I was hundreds of feet away.


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