Recent opportunities to exercise my camera have been rare, but this past Saturday I was able to get out to the Viera Wetlands for a morning of photography. I love getting to the wetlands before dawn when the great blue herons are nesting. They provide some awesome silhouettes when the clouds and sun are just right. This particular morning was no exception. It seems that the herons are already quite interested in starting the next generation of little herons. Click the images to view larger.
As the sun got a little higher, the colors changed and one of the herons graced me with my favorite heron pose. The trees the herons nest in allow for both a silhouette image as shown above and below and a wonderful opportunity just minutes later from the other side of the nest as seen here. It’s no wonder I like the herons at Viera!!
Once the sun got up, it quickly went behind the clouds and I changed my focus to a very cooperative belted kingfisher. There is a particular perch that she likes to visit that is fairly close for some great photos. Kingfishers are notorious for keeping their distance from any cameras, but this female seems not to have read that memo.
I took very few shots this morning, but I did enjoy the company of several of my friends who showed up throughout the morning to see what opportunities might be available. If the sun is behind the clouds, it’s great to have a bunch of friends shooting with you to pass the time. At one point there were 10 or more photographers lined up waiting for the kingfisher to return. Photography is a very expensive hobby and there was no less than $100,000 worth of equipment lined up on the berm waiting for one bird to make her appearance. I wish I had thought to sneak off to the side and snap a iPhone shot of all of us. Next time!
On my way out I came across a cooperative american bittern. These elusive heron-like birds are rarely out in the open, so when one presents itself in a somewhat unobstructed view, you have to take advantage of it!!
The holidays are a busy time of year and photography opportunities will continue to be sparse for me, but I’m already looking forward to my next outing to the Viera Wetlands!!