Great Blue Herons have kind of been a staple of my photography since I took it back up seriously. I didn't plan to spend so much time photographing them, it just worked out that way. We tend to shoot what's available to us. I mean, I'd like to photograph lions, but hey...
I'm not sure how many more of these posts I'll do, but I wanted to include some of my favorite heron shots before wrapping the series up.
This is another mid-air fish flip shot that turned out well. I've learned that herons tend to do this only with smaller fish. The big fish still get maneuvered into the head first position, but not in such dramatic fashion due to their size.
This is one of a handful of flight shots that I really like. This is a juvenile Great Blue and I like the straight legs, tucked head, and overall aerodynamic look of the bird. This is about as graceful as a heron can look in flight.
I watched this heron flying across the lake in front of me when it suddenly hit the air brakes and stuck its legs out. I realized it was going to land on this small stump...which it did with perfection. I just like the positioning of the whole body. The head and neck are visible and the outstretched legs are pointed right at the stump.
The biggest reason I like this shot, and the others in the sequence, is because it was the first and only time I've photographed a heron catching something other than fish. This heron plucked a vole out of the bank after watching it for several minutes. I had no idea what the heron was after until it pulled the critter out. It dunked the vole in the lake a few times and swallowed it.
This is my number one favorite flight shot. While not as graceful looking as the juvenile above, I like the outstretched neck, open bill, and the wingtip reflection. Sometimes I wish I had photographed the full reflection, but the wingtips are enough to make it interesting.