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Herons Never Let Me Get This Close
Posted By: Paleo Pete, 01-16-2011, 09:55 AM

Amazing is all I can say. Herons are very wary, the watchdogs of the lake. Around 60-70 feet is as close as I ever get.

Well, this one let me walk up to about 20 feet away yesterday, that was as close as I could get because I was on the boat landing, my shoes touching the edge of the water. I'd walk a couple of steps, take a few pictures. walk a few steps, take some more shots...not much out, 2 or 3 egrets and Herons flying around a bit, and this guy standing there on the bank watching me...I still can't believe I got that close...

This one was at ISO 400, f8 I think. I shot mostly f8 but switched to f5.6 for a couple, don't remember which ones...cropped at 1280x960 and resized. No other editing.



Click the image to view larger size.

This one is cropped a bit less, 2048x1536 and resized, ISO 800 and probably f5.6. It also might be the one that got a bit of sharpening, otherwise that's the only editing. I only sharpened one, but not sure which. I got a dozen or so keepers...



Click the image to view larger size.

and I had to get a shot or two with the reflection intact...I think it was cropped 3072x2308 and resized, no other editing.



Click the image to view larger size.

I think I got one or two decent shots of the egrets flying around, but nothing to write home about. So this Great Blue Heron is all I have to show off for today.

Enjoy
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01-19-2011, 12:15 PM   #16
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Actually I think the birds around here are just very used to people. They're all over the place, the various types of herons. We have a salt bayou and a couple of lakes close by. They walk right across the lawn just in front of you and so long as you don't go walking fast or running after them generally speaking they don't flee. The tiny white ones they're a little bit more nervous, but still you can get within 20 feet before they freak and walk away and even then they seldom fly away. They just look at you and walk fast.

The pelicans, crows, ducks, and gulls are about the same, pretty bold, but the hawks and eagles are a little less accommodating. Unless they are up on a telephone pole where they feel safe you won't get much of a view of them.

I'm lucky. There are a lot of animals here nearly all year round and mostly they're all so used to us that they just take our presence for granted. I have seen bald eagles sitting on my neighbor's roof sometimes. I never take it for granted. It still takes my breath away, but I think most people around here do.

When you have dolphins and manatee swimming up to chatter at you in the back yard every day, and almost every kind of furry animal out there living on your lawn you can get kind of blase about it all I suppose. Most people have to go to a nature trail or zoo to see animals in this kind of abundance. It never ceases to amuse me. I'm in the middle of suburbia and it's often like watching the Animal Planet shows out here!


QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Yeah Pete, Those things a "jumpy" here too, as you and Albert mention, seems like
first time that mirror flops in body, they're gone. Have heard birds injest fermented
materials from time to time, maybe one mags encountered was "feeling no pain"
great shots BTW, hope I can take advantge in like situation.


01-20-2011, 04:07 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
Thanks for identification notes and links, Pete!
01-22-2011, 03:35 AM   #18
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The last one with the reflection is my favourite..and your case is the good example that good wildlife pictures doesn't always need the longest glasses. Good timing being at the right place and some luck of course is also needed

Andras
01-23-2011, 08:38 AM   #19
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Thanks planedriver, the next couple of things on my wish list are 200mm and 300mm primes, probably all I'll need. Although a 400 or 500mm would be really nice too...This 90-230 is doing an excellent job, but primes always deliver better quality shots. I tried a Rokinon 75-300, nice lens but too much purple fringe, so the Lentar 90-230 is my go to lens right now, and as you can see it does a very nice job.

With this Heron I happened to be really close, but it does a good job at longer distances too.

Kammerer - You're welcome, I happened to realize just after I posted my original response, I was online and could pretty easily look both up. My answer might not have been too clear, but the point is whether you see a Great Blue or Tri Color, both will be the same birds I see here.

01-23-2011, 10:22 AM   #20
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This one was taken at about 10 feet away. It took me a while to figure them out. Great shots. JIM

01-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Actually I think the birds around here are just very used to people. They're all over the place, the various types of herons. We have a salt bayou and a couple of lakes close by. They walk right across the lawn just in front of you and so long as you don't go walking fast or running after them generally speaking they don't flee. The tiny white ones they're a little bit more nervous, but still you can get within 20 feet before they freak and walk away and even then they seldom fly away. They just look at you and walk fast.

The pelicans, crows, ducks, and gulls are about the same, pretty bold, but the hawks and eagles are a little less accommodating. Unless they are up on a telephone pole where they feel safe you won't get much of a view of them.

I'm lucky. There are a lot of animals here nearly all year round and mostly they're all so used to us that they just take our presence for granted. I have seen bald eagles sitting on my neighbor's roof sometimes. I never take it for granted. It still takes my breath away, but I think most people around here do.

When you have dolphins and manatee swimming up to chatter at you in the back yard every day, and almost every kind of furry animal out there living on your lawn you can get kind of blase about it all I suppose. Most people have to go to a nature trail or zoo to see animals in this kind of abundance. It never ceases to amuse me. I'm in the middle of suburbia and it's often like watching the Animal Planet shows out here!
And no snow? I really want to move there!
01-24-2011, 09:10 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
Thanks planedriver, the next couple of things on my wish list are 200mm and 300mm primes, probably all I'll need. Although a 400 or 500mm would be really nice too...
this is exactly the same I'm thinking about..not sure just now 300mm f4 would be nice..or a something longer..Sigma maybe?..life is long no need to hurry the da55-300 still makes me happy!

Andras
01-24-2011, 09:14 AM   #23
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I don't know how I missed these, Pete, but they're super shots. You've got to love herons, and you have figured out how to get close enough to capture them very well.

01-24-2011, 09:40 AM   #24
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Jimbo - Damn...how did you get that close??? I thought I was doing really good to get 20 feet but 10???? Amazing...

Tamia - Thanks. I like trying to shoot herons, I don't get many close shots, even flying the Egrets usually get a lot closer. Egrets will fly by 20-25 feet away pretty often, Herons rarely fly closer than 50 feet or so. Getting this close to one standing still is extremely unusual...
01-24-2011, 10:13 AM   #25
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Close up herons are one of the jewels of the C&O Canal outside of Washington, DC. I think the high density of tourists and hte "false sense of security" that derive from the 10 foot wide canal, really makes close ups possible. Certain different then heron shots I've tried anywhere else.... (If acceptable, to cross post, please check out this image. After sitting for 1-2 hours, this heron came within 5 feet of me... Too surreal.. http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4006/4449603342_da07a5ff4e_b.jpg).

Visit the C&O Canal near Great Falls....
01-25-2011, 07:00 AM   #26
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cdurfor - Some people may object, but I don't mind at all if someone posts a related picture in one of my threads, as Jimbo did earlier. I think he already knew I wouldn't mind though...

Nice shot, great close up. I like the detail in the head feathers. Too bad the minnow wasn't turned the other way. I haven't gotten that close yet, only with Kinglets and other small birds. I've gotten a couple of Herons and Egrets with snacks, but so far none show the eye of the fish very well. That's what I'm shooting for...
01-25-2011, 10:18 AM   #27
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No you don't, laugh. We only get 3 months of decent weather all year. The other 9 it's hot, humid, and too miserable to go outside! It's the other extreme from cold and icy. Me, I'd cheerfully take some snow over sweltering most of the time. (Not a blizzard, just "some" snow.)

I tend to like a steady 65-75 degrees. I'm not an extreme weather person. All the animals are cool, but the rest of it? Not so much. I'm looking forward to when we can move away from here again. I really want to go back to CA, though it looks like it may be Seattle-Tacoma instead.

QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
And no snow? I really want to move there!
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