Great Blue Heron Wading

Posted on Sep 14, 2015 in color, photography, wildlife

Early this morning before work, I had another encounter with the great blue heron that I often find in the area near the Ashuelot River dam. I know this heron well, and he is easy to identify because one of the toes on his left foot is badly deformed. On this occasion, he was fishing near the base of the dam. With the water levels being low right now, it is easy for him to walk up onto the flat stones at the base of the dam and watch for fish coming over the dam.

Some of his moves were made with short flights from one rock to another, really more of a hop than a flight. When taking a burst of photos during these short flights, often one of the photos in the burst appears to show the heron levitating in mid-air.

Great blue heron levitating above the water at the base of a dam

At one point, the heron puffed up the feathers on top of his head, creating a rather amusing deranged look.

Great blue heron standing on one leg

The photo of the day came when the heron landed after one of the short flights, spreading his wings out wide to help balance his landing.

Great blue heron spreading its wings

Just before I left for work, the sun appeared and began to cast a beautiful soft light on the heron. I wanted to stay longer, but felt it best to leave the heron alone after spending nearly an hour watching him hunt. The heron seems to tolerate these encounters well, but I am always careful not to push too hard.

Great blue heron wading in the river