Great Blue Heron – Going, Going, Gone!

I was photographing this Great Blue Heron years ago at a local park early in the morning. I was using a 100-400mm Canon Zoom @ 400mm. It is amazing what they can swallow. Here It seemed to go down quickly. Other times I have seen them take up to 20 to 30 minutes to get their prey down. Also they seem to eat a wide variety of prey. I have them eat snakes, gophers, rats and other prey you would think impossible to swallow! And you would think some prey would be painful to swallow!

GBH v2 CF 06_MG_0379GBH v2 CF 06_MG_0381

 

Flying Great Blue Herons

It seems like Great Blue Herons just glide along in flight for being such a large bird. They do have quite a wide wingspan from ~ 5.5 to 6.6 ft. They can cruise @ 20-30 miles per hour. So they are fun photo subjects especially if they are flying around a small lake and you have long lenses!MG_2565GBH_CF_MG_2830GBH_v1_CFMG_2831MG_2833GBH_V1 CF_MG_2817fmGBH_FltBy_MG_2707

Blackwater NWR In The Fog

One of my favorite places to photograph is the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge Maryland. From Eagles, Ospreys, other birds, Dragonflies, Delmarva Fox Squirrels, stunning sunrises and sunsets, it is a great place to explore and photograph. It is a place you need to come prepared with a wide range of lenses since you never know what photo subjects you will come across. Because there are plenty of opportunities for a variety of photo opportunities. From macro, to landscapes, to Wildlife near and far. I guess that is why I enjoy being there. The main section to photograph is on the Wildlife Drive. Then the trails off the Wildlife Drive. But also there are miles of roads winding through the Refuge, but you really should not stop and photograph on those roads. It is fun to see the many Eagle Nests along them. There are a few boat launching areas you can stop at to photograph. Also the Tubman Trail which is down the road from the main Wildlife Drive areas, is also good for landscapes, Eagles and other birds. On this trip it was quite foggy when we got there. It was supposed to burn off a little later so it was fun to find some views and subjects to photograph in the heavy fog. Plus the Refuge was almost empty of other visitors, so it was an errie feeling to be pretty much alone in this large Refuge. The fog was actually worse than these images show. But I wanted to be able to show what I was photographing, so I added some contrast and adjusted the midtone levels in Photoshop to bring out a little more detail.

GBH in Fog v1 BWR _43G7994

Great Blue Heron FlyBy

Here are a few Great Blue Heron images taken on our Lake Woodruff NWR trip to Florida. As we were walking the trails I saw this Great Blue Heron coming by us. I was ready and got a few side view images that I liked showing an  angular side view. I thought it really showed the length and form of the Great Blue Egret as it flew by. This view also shows how large they really are when stretched out in flight. All images were @ 600mm, taken with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. I am really liking the Tamron lens. It produces great images with fine detail and is very versatile with the wide zoom range. Especially nice when you are walking and not wanting to carry a variety of lenses to cover what you might see to photograph along the way.

GBH_v2_LW_1_20_MG_9330

Great Blue Heron FlyBy @600mm

GBH_v2_LW_1_20_MG_9332

Winging Further Away @ 600mm

 

Great Blue Heron In Finis Pool @ Bombay Hook NWR

Towards the end of the Wildlife Drive at Bombay Hook is Finis Pool. Quite often you can get photos of turtles here along with ducks. On this day we found a cooperative Great Blue Heron that posed for us. We took a few images and then moved on to not disturb the Heron. Plus a couple of turtle images, since we were there. Here I was using a Canon R with a Tamron 150-600mm zoom.

GBH_v2_BH_9_19_76A0289

Great Blue Heron @ 600mm

GBH_v1_BH_9_19_150mm_76A0324

Great Blue Heron @ 428mm

GBH_v1_BH_9_19_76A0334

Great Blue Heron @ 600mm

GBH_v1_BH_9_19_76A0271

Great Blue Heron @ 600mm

Turtle_On_Stump_v1_BH_9_19_600mm_76A0365

Turtle on Stump – Finis Pool – 600mm

Turtles_BH_Finis_Pool_v1_600mm_76A0352

Turtles Warming In Sun – Finis Pool, 600mm

 

Great Blue Herons At Brigantine

While I was photographing Landscapes & Cloudscapes along the Wildlife Drive at the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, I noticed this Great Blue Heron behind some of the grasses along the Wildlife Drive. I got a few shots through the grasses and then the two Herons lower down in the water flew off. I got a few more shots as they flew away from me. I was surprised that during the day we saw quite a few Great Blue Herons throughout the Refuge. Usually most do not hang around in the cold weather but there were quite a few throughout the Refuge.

GBH_Brig_v2_Brig_2_1976A1625

Canon R, 400mm f/4 DO lens, 1.4x series III teleconverter

GBH_Winging_Away_v1_76A1626

Great Blue Herons At Blackwater NWR

It seems that a few Great Blue Herons always hang around at Blackwater NWR through the Winter. Usually most migrate out of the area but a few seem to stay in the area on the Refuge. On this trip I saw 3 Great Blues along the Wildlife Drive.

GBH_12_18_BWR_v3_43G1637

Great Blue Heron watching for a meal. As I was watching he tried a few times with no luck. (400mm w/ 1.4x teleconverter)

GBH_v2_Tree_BWR_12_18_400mm_43G3765

I stopped to photograph some Tundra Swans in the water and turned around and noticed this GBH in the tree behind and above me. (m43 Olympus @ 140mm)

gbh_in_brush_v3_bwr_12_18_43g2599

Great Blue Heron foraging in the dried grasses @ 400mm w/ 1.4x teleconverter.

 

Great Blue Heron Birdscape

Sometimes instead of trying to fill the frame with my photo subjects, I like to show the environment that they live and exist in. I think it shows the birds and how they act in it. Also where you might be likely to find them.

 

 

 

Great Blue Heron Flyby

While I was photographing a Great Blue Heron off in the distance, this closer one took off and flew by right in front of me.  I was using a slower shutter speed because I had my lens stopped down more than usual because of the distance and wanted more depth of field, so the wingtips of this Heron show some blurred movement. Thought it was still interesting and liked the movement of the wingtips.

GBH_v5_BWR_7_18_

Great Blue Heron In field before taking flight

GBH_v1_BWR_7_18_43G6263

Great Blue Heron Takeoff

GBH_v1_43G6269

Sleeping Great Blue Heron

I saw this Great Blue Heron towards the end of the Wildlife Drive at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. It was standing on a fallen tree stump, out in the open. It appeared to be sleeping or taking a nap since it was not preening or moving after watching for 5 minutes. So we moved on. On the end of the second trip around the Wildlife Drive I decided to stop and get a few shots since it was still there. After a few minutes watching the Heron it looked up or woke up and kept looking around. Right to left. GBH_v2_BWR_7_18_43G6179GBH_v2_BWR_7_18_43G6202

After watching & photographing for a few minutes we moved on since I did not want to bother the Heron, even though we were on the other side of the channel of water between us.  We were surprised that we only saw a few Eagles. Most of the birds we saw were Ospreys, Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons.

 

%d bloggers like this: