This post in my favorites series is all about firsts. Each of these photos represents a first for me in some fashion.
This juvenile Bald Eagle is the only eagle I've ever photographed in the wild. I've taken photos of Bald Eagles at a rehab center, but never in the wild before or since this shot, or shots, since I managed to get three or four as it flew overhead. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye and quickly snapped some photos without making camera adjustments. The exposure was way off and I had to correct it as much as I could in post-processing. Despite that, this is a personal achievement since Bald Eagles don't appear regularly around here.
I know there are Wood Ducks in Kentucky, but like many birds, I don't see them. This is another opportunity I had while vacationing in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I could hear the duck in the trees and finally located him perched on this dead limb which is one of the things I like about the photo. Surprisingly, he stayed there long enough for me to get my first Wood Duck shots. If I stare at it, it looks more like a decoy than a real duck.
I had never seen a Green Heron, much less photographed one, until this shot. I remember being very surprised and fumbling with my gear trying to get some photos. The heron picked a great place to perch for my first shots. For a while after this, I saw Green Herons several times and was able to get many shots as you've seen from my posts. Then, as quickly as I started seeing them, they vanished. I can only assume they go elsewhere for the winter.
This was probably my most exciting "first" for heron photos. I had lots of portrait shots and even fishing shots, but this was the first time I had caught a fish being flipped in mid-air. I didn't know it until I downloaded the photos. I've since come to terms with this being just like thousands of other heron photos out there, but it was a big deal to me at the time. I can't help but think the fish was making a last second plea for help in a very tiny voice.