On sunny mornings the reflection of the Palace of Fine Arts creates a stunning backdrop for the black-crowned night herons that roost nearby.

This morning was the start of a brutal heatwave with record-setting temperatures across the Bay Area. In a city where summer days often call for a jacket at midday, I was already sweating at 8 am. The birds also did not appear to be enjoying the heat. Night herons kept arriving at the lagoon to bathe. Some perched with their feet in the water, while others stood more than chest-deep.

So many birds were arriving that there were slicks of bird droppings in places (I’ve done my best to edit some of this out in the other photos).

This location get amazing light on those rare days when the early morning light isn’t covered by the San Francisco fog.