On the first of September I was at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge when I spotted a Black-crowned Night Heron hidden in the phragmites. The heron was very still and might have been missed if my sharp eyes hadn’t caught some movement in the phrags. It was difficult to guess which direction the Black-crowned Night Heron would take off or if it would take off with its back to me. When the heron lifted off it did have its back to me but I started taking a burst of images any way.
(I should have posted this image yesterday for Halloween and called it “The headless Heron”)
Fortunately for me the Black-crowned Night Heron turned east which gave me lovely light to photograph the Black-crowned Night Heron in flight over the marsh of the refuge. I liked the wing position in this frame, the light on the heron, and the great view of the heron’s cherry-red eye. I also like how the clouds way off in the distance in the background softened what otherwise would have been a stark blue sky.
Black-crowned Night Herons are year-round residents of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and other marshy locations that surround the Great Salt Lake including Farmington Bay WMA. They survive some very tough conditions during our harsh winters and we lose some birds because they succumb to the cold or have trouble finding food after the water ices over.
The refuge is beautiful any time of the year but I love to be there when the seasons change from summer to fall where some vegetation is still green but the colors of autumn start making their appearance. This image was taken looking north west and the Promontory Mountains can be seen in the distance and reflected on the water along with the clouds overhead. I like to include scenic images so that it shows the habitat of my subject.
Being prepared by knowing the behavior of my subject and being patient can pay off and when the bird does what I hope it will do it often gets me “the” shot.
Life is good.