Green Heron stretching- Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 330mm, natural light
When I lived in Florida I spent most of my time photographing along the Gulf of Mexico on beaches, saltwater marshes and in lagoons because of my love of shorebirds and because there were sea breezes that often kept the bugs at bay. Further inland the biting insects could be so bad that they would find the tiniest places where I missed spraying insect repellent and “tear me a new one” and I’d often go home feeling like I had been used for a pincushion.
But photographing inland had its benefits too, I did see birds there that I rarely or never saw closer to the Gulf. I don’t recall seeing Green Herons close to the Gulf but I did find them in inland locations like Sawgrass Lake Park. More often than not when I would find Green Herons they were in locations that made photographing them difficult because of trees, branches and other obstructions so when I would find one out in the open I would take full advantage of the situation and take loads of photos.
This Green Heron was photographed from an elevated boardwalk at Sawgrass Lake Park, it had been preening when I walked slowly up to it and when it stretched its wing I took this image. Not long after this a Broad-winged Hawk flew over and disturbed the Green Heron and that was fun to photograph because of the defensive poses it showed me.
Some times I look back and wish I had spent more time photographing birds in more inland locations while I lived in Florida but then I remind myself of the birds I would have missed seeing and photographing on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico had I done that.
Life is good.
P.S., Green Herons can be found in Utah, I have seen one since I arrived here as it flew away from me. Maybe one day I will find one that cooperates with me here.