Black-crowned Night-Heron at Night by mbrutus

Black-crowned Night-Heron at Night

Don't ask me where these guys go during the day time. I've only ever seen them as dusk is approaching, or as was the case tonight, in the dead of night. Tonight, being Tuesday night, was time for my All Ladies And M. Brutus Walking Group. Now that the clocks have been changed, we begin and end our walks in the dark. I had little hope of catching any meaningful photos in the pitch darkness. It would even be too late for a sunset shot. But I carried my ever ready point and shoot camera with me out of sheer unbridled optimism. Mrs. Brutus, who does not, as a matter of course, enjoy sharing me with up to a dozen neighborhood ladies,and does not usually join me for our walks. Tonight, she urged me, "Take your headlamp with you when you go. It'll be dark out." So I did. We took our usual course which eventually led us around the lake. Enjoying a pleasant conversation, I gave not a thought to taking any photographs. That is, until we rounded a bend where the water was being pumped out of a white plastic pipe and into the lake. Standing by the raging flow, lit by the dim lakeside lanterns was this magnificent Black-crowned Night-Heron. (And don't ask me why the "c" in "crowned" isn't capitalized. But it isn't.) After alerting my companions to the epic nature of this encounter, they briefly gazed at the bird and then resumed their brisque paced walking, leaving me to grab for my handy point-n-shoot and hope for the best. As usual, I took my immediate long shots and then slowly moved in for closer shots. But the combination of low natural lighting and the longer zoom lengths made for some less than ideally sharp images. I had a tiny but inconsistent flash unit with me. But also had my headlamp. I reached for the headlamp and turned it on, hoping that it would be less frightening to the heron. It seemed to light the bird well, but in some shots, the dark top of the bird's crown would get lost in the dark water beyond. I had to stand up higher and point my headlamp down at the bird so that the lamp presented a top light to separate the bird's head from the dark background. In this shot, that tactic also placed the dark head against the contrasting white foam of the rushing water. The bird was kind enough to hold still for me, long enough to allow me to get this shot and a few others. As I rose to my feet, the bird became frightened, or just plain cautious, and took off in flight. I put my camera and headlamp back in their respective pouches and pockets, as I raced ahead to try and catch up to the Amazon warriors, who impatiently wait for no man. Eventually, I made up the distance and caught up to my fellow walkers, fortunately without suffering any serious cardiac damage. As for the Amazons, they didn't even seem to notice I was gone. But I didn't care. I would be returning to Mrs. Brutus and my 365er friends with my shots of the Black-crowned Night-Heron in all his glory, enjoying the post Daylight Savings Time evening on his nightly constitutional, just the same as we were.
You did well. Wonderful shot of the night bird.
November 8th, 2017  
A great shot, thanks to serendipity, your persistence and not a little skill. Great because it is different from most bird shots, I like the motion in the wave and the hints of colour in the wave and the birds eye.
November 8th, 2017  
beautifully shot.
November 8th, 2017  
Wow! Magnificent.
November 8th, 2017  
Oh yes fabulous capture! Love your story - you always make me laugh! Fav!
November 8th, 2017  
wow, this is amazing, like a painting.
November 8th, 2017  
Marvellous shot with the background of water, fav
November 8th, 2017  
what a fabulous photo of the heron...good yarn too fav
November 8th, 2017  
Wow what a capture, especially after reading about what it took to get this fab photo! Thanks to Mrs B! Well, and to your considerable ability as a photographer! Fav!
November 8th, 2017  
Beautifully captured :)
November 8th, 2017  
Lovely capture. Well worth the effort and thank you for the entertaining narrative 🙂
November 8th, 2017  
stunning capture
November 8th, 2017  
Amazing background - like a painting in which you can choose how to portray anything! fav
November 8th, 2017  
Wonderful capture! I always find my Night Herons in the daytime. fav!
November 8th, 2017  
I love this one - and could picture the whole capture - including catching up with the Amazon walkers. Glad you had you light - sure paid off and creeping around to catch him against the water was ideal. Fav
November 9th, 2017  
@littleconnie Thank you. You're very kind.
November 13th, 2017  
@laroque Many thanks for sharing your generous comments.
November 13th, 2017  
@pusspup @merrelyn @koalagardens Thanks to you all for you comments and support. Much appreciated.
November 13th, 2017  
@pamknowler Glad you enjoyed them. Always like to hear I've made someone laugh.
November 13th, 2017  
@yaorenliu Many thanks. That is quite a high compliment.
November 13th, 2017  
@joannakate Thanks for your comment and the Fav.
November 13th, 2017  
@hrs Thank you. Glad you enjoyed both. Please visit again soon.
November 13th, 2017  
A beautiful capture! Fav.
November 15th, 2017  
Awesome close-up! I've never gotten close enough to a Night-heron for a pic; they are always just a small speck in the distance for me. Fav!
December 13th, 2017  
@gardenfolk Thanks so much. And thanks for the fav. Sorry that I just noticed your comment and thus, the untimely reply.
December 14th, 2017  
@dsp2 Hi, Glad you could visit my project. I know what you mean about Night Heron. Often times they are just grey lumps sleeping in a tree on the other side of the lake. But other times, I have had some pretty good luck with having them let me get close. At first, it seemed to be mostly at dusk. But later, even in the daytime. I have several other Night Heron photos, I've posted, if you'd like to see them. They were posted on October 3, September 7 and 29, specifically. Also, I have a few really nice shots of a juvenile night heron that I'll be posting soon. They sometimes have interesting interactions with the Egrets. Thanks for the fav and I hope you'll visit again soon.
December 14th, 2017  
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