Last Man, er, Heron Standing


On Sunday Morning after breakfast, Ann and I decided to check out the Great Blue Heron nest downtown on the Concho River.  We wanted to see if the young ones had fledged.  All three nests were empty except for this one, with a lone bird sitting like a sentinel.  He had probably fledged and just came back to take a rest.

Great Blue Heron

We checked the rest of the river and  found one of them doing a little fishing.  As we watched for about 15 minutes, he just kept picking up trash and twigs.  I got this series of photos when he came up empty.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

We ventured further along and spotted this Green Heron.

Green Heron

Green Heron

I am so thankful that Ann and I live in an area where we can get in the car and drive only a few blocks, or just a few miles to see such a diverse collection of birds and wildlife.  Because of the large quantity of photos in this post, I am not going to go into detail about my various exposures.

I had my two Canon 7Ds in the car, one with my 500mm f4 lens and the other with my Canon 100-400mm lens.  I put both of them to good use.  I didn’t photograph from the car on this trip.  I was able to get out of the car and set up the tripod at various locations.  Ann acted as my ‘gofer’ in this regard and was a great help.

All images were shot in RAW and post processed in Photoshop CS6.  Minimal adjustments were made, only for lighting, some sharpening and minor color tweaking.

The city is in the process of re-doing the banks of the river downtown; installing riff-raff and decorative rocks and fountains.  To do this they have nearly drained the river except for a small channel that flows down the center.  When finished, it will be more beautiful than what it already was.

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25 thoughts on “Last Man, er, Heron Standing

  1. I know the GBH is one of your favorites to photograph (mine too) and you as always present them so beautifully. The green heron is gorgeous too. I truly love your outstanding work!

  2. Bob, great shots as usual. Love the blue heron sequence. I’ve been looking into the Canon 500mm f4 and wondered what your opinion is on it? Is it possible to shoot handheld with this lens at all? Thanks. 🙂

    • Thanks, Chris. The Canon 500mm f4 lens is an excellent, state of the art, tack-sharp lens. It is quite heavy, but possible to hand-hold, and I have done that on occasion. It does have IS of course which helps. The newest, but more expensive version that Canon just came out with, is supposed to be lighter. However, it is 3000 bucks more. Hope this helps, in your decision.

  3. How wonderful to watch these beautiful birds in person. Thanks for the gorgeous photos. I have the Cornell webcams of the great blue heron nest in New York projected through most of the day in my library. The kids and I have been watching them, as well as the red-tailed hawks since just after the eggs were laid. It’s just amazing how quickly they grow. I will show them your photos too!

  4. Awesome shots, Bob! Your amazing photos of birds are what’s motivating me to go out more and see the wildlife in my area. I have spotted a few blue herons around, oh and an egret too, haven’t seen a green heron yet. I am not even sure if they are in the area, but I am hoping to see some more variety before the season is over.

    • You are in the northern most part of their summer area according to the map in my Stokes guide. So you may get a chance to see one. Thanks for your compliments, Gracie, I appreciate it. 🙂

  5. Great pictures, as always. In the first one, the Heron is trying to imitate the branch in front of it. Hehehe. 😀

    Green Heron is just spectacular!

  6. Yes you are truly blessed to live in an area with all this wonderful wildlife..the photos are awesome and the fishing series is great. We are awaiting the arrival of our swans hatch..we have a pair on a lake about a mile from home..They are the town’s pride and joy. Have a great day..I am off to the studio for a painting of a tri-colored blackbird.

  7. Neat fishing sequence Bob. And I envy you your Green Herons and how close you are to so many birds. Typically we have to drive about 40 miles (one way) to get to an area with a variety of bird subjects.

  8. How fun to see one of the last little ones. I love Green Herons”” still waiting to spot one around here, but I keep checking the pond! (:

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