Monday, April 15, 2024

Wildlife Camouflaged, The Best Of First Observation Deck & Deceived

"Matthew, go fast, tell the lady we found the Green heron."

Fast, fast, the flying Great blue heron! Over there, look over there!” she directed me.

Here, do you see the Green heron? Come here. Can you see him?” she pointed out.

The Great blue heron landed on the tree behind the leaves and branches. No chance to take a single photo. For the love of me, I couldn’t see a single hopping Green heron in the direction she showed me.

Green heron

Now I had her back. “Matthew, go fast, tell the lady we found the Green heron,” I told him. She came, and we both started to take photos. She was very nice, moving away and letting me take photos from her spots.

She had a much smaller camera. I felt bad, so I offered her my camera, which had a telescopic 100-400mm lens. The lens I have is like binoculars; you can zoom in on objects to see them closer. “I’ll show you something,” she said as I tried to hand over my camera. “Here, look in my viewfinder,” and I did.

A viewfinder? Who uses a viewfinder to view photos these days? Obviously her. I looked inside. I couldn’t believe it. Her Green heron was closer than mine. “Ouch, how did you do that?” I asked, surprised. Well, she had a camera with a lens extender, and with her current lens, she ended up with a telescopic zoom, probably 500mm. And who said that bigger is better?

Killdeer

That was deceiving. Her too – she was a pro in everything, photography and wildlife. She was also right about looking through the viewfinder. During bright daylight, it is hard to see pictures on the LCD view panel, which she obviously did not use.

Time passed, and I was still at the first observation deck. We drove today, so that was a short walk. But we had fun when we started to see all the camouflaged wildlife in the pond, the Green heron, Killdeer, and Sandpipers especially. The pond was abundant in Mallard and Wood duck.

Sandpiper

Oh no, I just remembered – I have not seen any Canada goose today.

We were having a great conversation. We talked about wildlife and photography, and everything else. It looked like her main focus today was the Green heron. I had never had an opportunity to photograph a Sandpiper, so today was my lucky day to get a nice collection of close-ups. The Sandpiper was hovering all over and looking for food. It was definitely a juvenile Sandpiper.

The Green herons are much smaller than the Great blue herons. We saw them catching frogs and fish for lunch. It is interesting to watch them fish, especially when they stretch their necks and remain still for periods of time. A very common characteristic. When the time comes, in a split second the herons dive their heads for whatever they were looking for.

I don’t know why they do it, but they like to perk up and have all their feathers on their head stand up in the shape of a Mohawk. They also have this amazing ability to sway their bodies side to side vertically from head to toe, just like a fish when it swims. A very graceful movement.

Now, speaking of ducks, they were everywhere. Speaking of turtles, they were everywhere. At some point, I saw seven turtles (Red-eared sliders) surrounding one duck that was sitting nearby.

Mallard

Matthew was hovering around the lady, greeting everyone passing by. He talked to all the children that showed up on the deck. At some point, Matthew was hovering around the lady’s lunchbox on her back, and I know why.

Mallard again

We continued to talk. It was time for the introduction. “Matthew, meet Lady Patricia,” I said once we introduced ourselves to each other. “What do you have there?” Matthew asked and pointed to her bag. “It is a mint-chocolate candy,” she replied, handing out one to each of us. So that’s why he was hovering around her bag. What happened to my shy boy? The small and shy boy he once was.

Yes, Mallard again, but then why not?

It was almost lunchtime, and I was still at the first observation deck. More visitors arrived. At some point, there must have been 10 of us standing, at least four groups. I can see that children really do enjoy this boardwalk, and they will for many years to come.

Pond’s architecture

By the time we left, the Great blue heron was gone and we didn’t even notice its departure. I never made it beyond the first observation deck, but we had a great time conversing with Patricia, observing wildlife together, photographing, and socializing. It was a fun day today.

COMMENTS

kaslkaos said: August 26, 2011 at 08:29

Those are gorgeous. And I’ve NEVER seen a green heron just sitting around, only as a silhouette, or fast moving diving shadow.

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