Bittern, Night Heron or Green Heron?

It is a beautiful day today, light wind, bright sky and cool temperatures. I went out with my camera at noon today to take a few pictures in the intense sunlight. There are times when I feel I must repeat some of my unsuccessful experiments. Never one to say “No” to failure I back up and make more attempts. I know taking pictures in the harsh light will end with most if not all being deleted, which happened again today. There are so many problems associated with the bright Sun from noon until dusk that it is not possible to sort them out to achieve the desired results. I’m back to square one, I will not attempt bright light photos again; for a while.

The Mute Swans in the photo above flew over early one morning last week. They were silent as they passed by overhead. There were about two dozen birds in the flock neatly flying in a tight Vee formation. There was a bit of confusion for me whether they were Cranes, Geese or another species. I felt they were Mute Swans but way out of their native habitat which is the North Eastern United States; New England. They are an invasive species with direction from the California fish and game to eradicate them. The term “invasive species” has political ties; I won’t explain it in this blog, or most likely any other. None the less they are big beautiful birds very enjoyable to watch fly over.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to capture some shots of this Egret passing by during the early morning hours. The dim lighting shows the Sun is on the rise while casting deep long shadows on the pasture. The Egrets are un-predictable as their coming and goings are concerned but one thing is for certain they will show up through the Course of the day. The long sharp beak is a wonder to me, I have a number of thoughts pertaining to it. One is I wonder if an Egret has run into another animal and accidentally stabbed it. After being on the Earth for thousands of years it must have happened at least once, but more than likely numerous times.

I have taken many photos of Egrets, I continue because no two images are exactly alike; I replace the old pictures that are not up to snuff with current ones. Plus the more I take of the critters the more likely I will capture a bird doing something unpredictable. I’m not sure what that would be but I’m willing to wait for a good shot. I heard it said a photographers first 10,000 pictures are merely a start of ones photographic education; I believe it. It’s difficult to delete good pictures but it’s a needed task; in my opinion it creates a desire to outdo the replacement. It’s hard to beat a photograph of a large bird with its wings out stretched stepping off of a pylon.

The Green Heron is one of my favorite small birds; they all are actually. I posted a photo of one on the local FaceBook page and as what is typically the case someone will comment that it’s a Night Heron not a Green Heron. I don’t know how much value there may be in correcting them; I did not but I have in the past. From now on I believe I will let those comments slide. The confusion is warranted as there are numerous birds related to it that appear the same however with different colored plumage. Night Herons are light Gray, Bitterns are saddle brown and Green Herons are multi-colored.

I don’t have many photos of Bitterns, I have no Night Herons, however above is a good image of a Bittern. The red eyes, saddle brown plumage and light colored beak are a few of the differences between it and a Green Heron. When airborne I am unable to distinguish between the three, I have seen Night Herons but it’s always been too dark to catch an image. It’s interesting how many different look alike species there are when birds are concerned.

A common Tern is in the above photograph, the photo of the bird is real but the sky has been replaced in Photoshop. It’s a new process introduced in the last update, what’s there not to like? For one by my way of thinking it’s cheating, the photograph should at least have its original components. There is a place for the extreme editing however, that is in marketing, if only the hamburger I order at a fast food joint looked like the picture. To enhance a photo for commerce is not unacceptable for me, but to do it to win a contests or even “likes” on a photographic site is just not right. But the sky sure looks good.

I took this image on a whim, I was attracted to the composition. It may not appeal to a lot of viewers however I like the way the browns blend together and the somewhat puzzled look on the Blue Herons face. It conjures up for me a curiosity of what the bird is looking at so intently, and if he is close to going airborne. That is part of the secret of photography the image must bring out an emotion in the viewer as well as tell a bit of a story for me to work with. In this blog there are 7 story telling photos, the bonus is they can be used over again many times.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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