A Short Trip to Tulsa

June 12, 2015

A great blue heron cruises over the tailwater of Keystone Lake in Tulsa, Oklahoma, searching for an easy meal.

I just made it home from short trip to Tulsa to visit my friend Mike Fuhr and his beautiful wife, Heather. Our plan was to photograph herons and egrets in flight as they snatched fish from the tailwater of the 26,000 acre Keystone Lake. When the lake’s huge dam is wide open, as it is now, a waterbird feeding frenzy ensues as stunned fish surface in the foamy water.

Over the years, when conditions have been right, Mike has made some amazing images of great egrets and great blue herons splashing down in open water and yanking large drum, shad, crappie, catfish, and other species from the tailwater. Keep in mind, these are typically wading birds so it is fascinating to watch them crash into the water, sometimes half submerged, and pull up with sizable fish in hand (claw). Unfortunately, I brought bad luck with me on the trip, because the birds weren’t feeding as they had been earlier in the week. We had to “settle” for some flight shots of the great birds flying low and close, showing off their breeding plumage. These consolation images, along with the good company, made the trip more than worthwhile!

Speaking of good company, I also got to meet Mike’s friend, Chris Lewallen, who has been one of my friends on Facebook for a long time. Even though I’d never met Chris in person, I felt like we had been buddies for years as we shared a beer and brat at Mike’s place. Later, Chris joined us at the Keystone tailwater and we all had a great time, even though the fish refused to sacrifice themselves to enhance our images.

Later, I’ll share a decent image of a scissor-tailed flycatcher I made during the trip. The scissor-tailed flycatcher is the Oklahoma state bird and Mike knew right where to take me to get a shot of one. Good times!

Thanks for looking,


Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com


6 comments on “A Short Trip to Tulsa”

  1. Loved the Great Blue, and looking forward to your ‘decent’ image. I like it when you go on a trip, because I get some highlights, too!

  2. Danny, the pleasure was all mine! It was truly great getting to meet you in person!

    • Hey Chris — sorry I spelled your name wrong at first. I just used a random spelling as a placeholder until I could go back and check it, and then I forgot to go back! Its fixed now. Take care.

  3. Not a bad “settling” shot!!

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