Great Blue Heron next to a creekGreat Blue Heron next to a creek  – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I spotted this Great Blue Heron yesterday at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area and loved the setting with the fresh snow blanketing the steep creek bank. I also thought the shadow of the bird was great and if you look very closely behind the bird you can see where the wingtips of the heron brushed the pristine snow when it landed in this location.

Great Blue Heron Shadow PlayGreat Blue Heron “Bill Puppet” – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/4000, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 221mm, natural light

 This sort of reminds me of playing “Hand Puppet” when I was a child because of the heron’s shadow. This was one of the most cooperative Great Blue Herons I have come across at Farmington Bay WMA.

The images that follow are in sequential order and show the Great Blue Heron lifting off from this location and moving about 50 feet to the west. (techs to follow the images)

Great Blue Heron crouching for lift offGreat Blue Heron crouching for lift off

Great Blue Heron with wings up and flying snowGreat Blue Heron with wings up and flying snow

Great Blue Heron lifting off from the snowGreat Blue Heron lifting off from the snow

The Great Blue Heron and its shadow on the snowThe Great Blue Heron and its shadow on the snow

Great Blue Heron in flight over the icy covered creekGreat Blue Heron in flight over the icy covered creek

A snow covered hill and a Great Blue HeronA snow covered hill and a Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron flying towards open waterA Great Blue Heron flying towards open water

A snowy canvas and a Great Blue HeronA snowy canvas and a Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron flying over the snowGreat Blue Heron flying over the snow

Great Blue Heron Flight 5Great Blue Heron on a clear winter day

All of these images were taken with these techs – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 200mm, natural light, the shutter speed for the last image was 1/3200.

The photos taken sequentially after these unfortunately had grasses in front of the heron that would have been distracting as the bird landed in the new location. Those landing shots would have been wonderful without the obstructions.

The snow made a lovely background for these heron images but not so much for those of us using the roads at Farmington Bay WMA yesterday. There was a duck hunting boat that slid off the road at a turn, I bet they had to use a winch to pull the boat out from the back to prevent the heavy rear end of it from sliding further down the steep shoulder.  Those duck hunters didn’t look happy.

The roads were slippery, the snow was deep. I would not recommend going there for a few days unless you have a high clearance vehicle and 4 wheel drive.

Mia