The White Rock Lake Spillway Buffet

The White Rock Lake Spillway Buffet

OK, if you haven’t seen the spillway at White Rock Lake recently, pull on your galoshes and head over there. Not only would it classify as Class Four rapids on the Selway or the Taos Box, it’s become a tropical aviary.

The steady rains have apparently swept up copious numbers of fish, and the birds have flown in for a taste from a three-state radius. They’re all gathered by the bridge at the intersection of Garland and Winsted roads, where passersby can't help but stop and gape.

A line of Great Egrets guard the upper level, where the rapids begin. They stand on one leg and paddle for balance with the other, watching patiently with their long white necks extended toward the water. Down below, dozens of the graceful herons fight over fishing spots with their smaller cousin, the snowy egret, a black-beaked white bird with a Dr. Seussian Mohawk. (He's visible, sort of, at the bottom left corner of the picture above.)

At sunset a couple of nights ago, after the daily deluge, at least 50 Great Egrets sat perched in the trees above the spillway, still as always. Every so often a few would swoop down to the water with their impressive wingspan and snap up silver fish when they passed. I even saw a Blue Heron and a couple of Kingfishers. So, ornithology fans, check it out while the party lasts. --Megan Feldman

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