Herons and Bitterns

Wednesday was another of those knockout sunny fall days that grabs you by the collar and pulls you outside. I actually made two trips around Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, in the morning and then in the afternoon with one of the volunteers at the visitor’s center. Both trips were delightful, particularly since I haven’t seen too many Great Blue Herons since I stopped visiting regularly.

This heron was in a drainage ditch right next to the dike where a number of small fish had been trapped when the tide went out. He was much too busy gorging on fish to worry about hiding.

Great Blue Heron

I’ve gotten a lot of GBH shots, but few where wing feathers are as beautifully detailed as this one.

But I’m also strangely fond of this blurry shot of a Great Blue Heron by the front pond, sheltered from visitors by the heavy shrubbery,

Great Blue Heron

and protected from the camera by contrasting sun and shadows.

And this American Bittern was a few feet down the boardwalk, so close that it was impossible to get much more than a head shot of him with my 400mm lens.

American Bittern Head

In fact this shot is actually two different shots photomerged together.

6 thoughts on “Herons and Bitterns”

  1. I do hope that eventually this heron manages to arrive on our shores. At present we have only the grey heron – and I love it – but recently I understand that a purple heron arrived at a bird sanctuary somewhere in the Uk – so mnaybe this chap next.
    What I like about these photographs Loren is that they done’t show the heron in its usual pose – one feels that one is almost intruding into its private life in these photographs.

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