Earlier the same dark morning I ‘bumped’ into a Barred Owl (click here) I had a similar experience with a Great Blue Heron. Walking along, and about to almost walk over him in the dark, he jumped up and flew across some water.
The Heron seemed to want to stay around here and stood watching us. It was dark but enough light for this shot. We moved on, he probably flew right back after we went further down the trail.