Abilene Journals

In Search of Heron and other Surprises

A travel journal to Abilene by Casual Tourist

Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas More Photos
Quote: About 1/2 an hour to the southeast of Abilene is a reservoir that hosts a habitat for heron, ducks, geese, and other wild fowl. It's peaceful, the wildlife is plentiful, and if you'd like a new piece of our natural planet to explore this is it. You might even get lucky and see a pelican camped out in Kansas!!!

In Search of Heron and other Surprises

Overview

Quote:
Some of my most memorable moments at Herington have been while sitting quietly on the bank waiting. Something always happens -- a family of wild ducks come floating by, a huge heron appears as if seemingly out of nowhere and strikes wonder into your heart. If you've ever seen a heron in flight, you know that they have a rather prehistoric appearance, almost like a pterodactyl at times. It's just awe and wonder inspiring.

Quick Tips:

Come prepared to view a variety of birds. A good pair of binoculars is a must if you wish to see the nesting site in the midst of the south end of the lake.

Best Way To Get Around:

Ehrsam Place Bed & Breakfast

Hotel | "Ehrsam Place Bed and Breakfast"

Ehrsam Place Bed & Breakfast  Photo, Abilene, Kansas
Quote:
If you prefer a grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast to an ordinary motel, Ehrsam Place Bed & Breakfast is the place to stay. There are four uniquely decorated suites with private baths to select from for your night''s stay. In the morning there is a home-cooked breakfast served in the dining room with scrumptious delicacies to tempt your taste buds, including home made biscuits and breads, fruit, meats and an egg dish. The grounds surrounding the B&B are open to guests and feature a fish pond, a gazebo and foot paths. This great place is located just five miles from Abilene and gets you that much closer to Herington Lake.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2001

Ehrsam Place Bed & Breakfast
103 N Grant Street
Abilene, Kansas 67441
(785) 263-8747

Grenen Acres Bowl

Restaurant | "Green Acres"

Quote:
Either before or after an early morning at Herington a quick and tasty place to eat is Green Acres Restaurant. Located in Green Acres Bowling Alley, the atmosphere is more like a little country inn.

The food is pretty much what would be found at a mom-and-pop operation. They have a breakfast special served until 11:00 a.m. that would satisfy most appetites. The fare is cooked to your liking, as I always request onions added to my breakfast hash browns and never once have I gotten a negative reply.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 6, 2000

Grenen Acres Bowl
I 70 & K 15
Abilene, Kansas 67410
(785) 263-1001

The Heron at Herington Reservoir

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Story/Tip

Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas
Quote:
The first time I saw a wild heron was at Herington Reservoir and I hadn't a clue what I was seeing. I assumed it was a crane, but decided to investigate more thoroughly to discover what exactly this large bird was. It was in the fall of 1999 when I was taking a leisurely walk along the shore that I spotted something tall and thin standing in the water quite a distance from me. I managed to take some very blurry photos at that time, but had no clear picture of what I had seen. Also at that time I noticed a dozen or more very large nests in a clump of dead trees some distance out in the water. I continued to spot these large birds on subsequent visits and continued to observe th...Read More

Sunrise at Herington Reservoir

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Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas
Quote:
One of the most memorable times I spent at Herington was on the morning that my husband and I struggled out of bed at 5:00 in the morning so that we could witness the sun rising over the lake. Actually, we got up at this time for a dual purpose. Kansas in August is far to hot to do anything during the middle of the day. It had been weeks since we had been able to take our dogs for an outing because of the heat. Thus the early morning adventure. We found the lake quite still and practically deserted. There was a boat with fishers at the north end and a couple of campers on the east side, but other than that we had the area to ourselves. The sounds of early morning birds are...Read More

A family of Geese

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Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas
Quote:
The spring and summer of 2000 afforded me the opportunity of observing a family of geese develop on Herington Reservoir. My husband first spotted them on the southwest side of the lake near the road. The goslings were quite young at that time. I saw them on several other occasions after that. One time in particular was rather unique in how it happened. We had been visiting the lake with two of our granddaughters and were about to head home when the youngest told us that she had left the binoculars at the playground near the southeast end of the lake. As we retraced our steps to retrieve the forgotten glasses, we saw the family of geese eating along the side of the...Read More

Waterfowl at Herington

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Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas
Quote:
Frequently geese fly overhead at Herington. Their honking can be heard well before they come into view.

With the honking of the geese, quacking of the ducks and various chirpings of numerous other birds, such as redwing blackbirds, the lake on many occasions sounds like a nature symphony. Added to the sound of birds is the soft lapping of the water on the shore along with not infrequent jumping splashes of fish as they leap out of the water, the deep croaking of frogs and cricket-like chirping of cicadas. There is nothing quiet about nature.

Pelican in Kansas?

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Story/Tip

Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas
Quote:
Who would have guessed? I always thought of pelican as coastal birds. The first time I saw pelican at Herington, I was convinced that I had to be mistaken. After all, these large white birds were quite a distance out into the lake, and my view of them wasn't exactly clear. But then on October 21st I saw them again. This time there was no mistake. These six birds huddled on a miniscule island in the lake were indeed pelicans. The water level in the lake was low, making the area around the shore quite mucky -- certainly something you wouldn't want to walk in. This must have given these six birds the confidence to stand their small piece of ground as they were not in the least bothered by us...Read More

The Heron Won't Be Happy About This!!

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Story/Tip

Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas
Quote:
In the spring heron at Herington nest at the south end of the lake in a stand of dead trees. Their nests are huge as they must be to accommodate these large birds. But come fall the heron have left the nesting ground for the shoreline. I have no idea where they spend their nights, but I know that it is not in their nests as the last time I looked their trees and nests had been taken over by flocks of noisy ducks. The day that these photos were taken it was a misty, drizzly November day -- one of those eerie days that mystery writers love. Perfect for watching and listening to the ducks. Let's hope the ducks are good housekeepers and leave things in good order for the heron to retu...Read More