A young Great Blue Heron learning to use his wings, and now actually fly.
I watched this juvenile flap like crazy, get some height, and frantically fly to the tall trees on the edge of the swamp.
After a rest he returned to the safety of the nest.
Down below is a swamp, and Alligators. Incentive to make to the trees.
I’ve never seen one not get over there. Still, I’m sure the birds are terrified the first few times.
The big guys have left rookeries, even most of the Egrets.
The nesting seasons are based on size (observation). The last to use the rookery are the smaller Night Herons.
This Black-crowned dropped out of a nesting island and passed in front of me. Fast flyers but I can grab these shots now, months of practice and missed shots.
I also know I will have much fewer opportunities like this come late fall and winter.
Next spring, no way I could shoot this. Every year it’s the same thing… I am rusty and need to start figuring them out all over again.
These are some of the last photographs of a Great Blue in this rookery. Some stay around after the young birds fledge, but not long.
These Herons are solitary and will keep to themselves until around January here. At that point they come back to the same nesting places and start claiming the best spots.
Taken in the ACE Basin in an old rice field.
The area is a patch work of hundreds, if not thousands, of old rice fields and marshes. They are all linked by an equally huge number of dikes and ‘trunks’ controlling the flow of water.
These areas are the largest migratory stops in the eastern US. Tropical even make this a year round home.
Great Blue Herons, like these images, are just about everywhere.
A few fast shots of a Black-crowned Night Heron making a ‘speedy escape’ into the woods.
Shooting wide allowed me to make the shots. When a fast bird makes a flight like this you need all the help you can get.
The dark, and vivid green is what made this shot.
They live in swamps, and that means mud. If it’s really bad I may skip the shot. However, if I worried about mud and muck too much this web site would be a lot smaller.
Taken some place in the Lowcountry… best I’ve got.
Another of those shots, and times, when we literally ‘bump into each other’.
This one had the presence of mind to just keep going into the swamp on the other side of the trail.
This was a ‘sooner or later’ photograph. The rookery was on my left, the thickets on my right.
I knew his path to get sticks, I knew where he would get those sticks.
I just didn’t know when he would zoom past me.
This flight he came past us much closer than the others. I caught this, and of course missed plenty of the easier ones a little further away.