I stopped dead in my tracks on Monday when I spotted this Green Heron (Butorides virescens) as I was walking along the boardwalk at my local marshland park.
Only rarely have I had such an unobstructed view of this beautiful bird. My camera was already affixed to my tripod and I slowly opened its legs and set it down, all the while keeping my eyes on the Green Heron. I didn’t dare to make any sudden movements and felt like I was moving in slow motion as I inched my way forward to the edge of the boardwalk.
I don’t know if the heron was actively hunting for prey, but he seemed really focused and unaware of my presence (or was willing to ignore me). Initially upright, the heron gradually leaned more and more forward and appeared to be focusing even more intently.
My breathing seemed loud in my ears and my shutter sounded like a machine gun to me, but the heron hung around long enough for me to get some pretty good photos. Eventually, though, he got spooked and flew away, but I think I have an idea of the general area in which he hangs out, so I hope to encounter him again.
Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved