I made some flight shots today (Aug. 26, 2015), at the Ridgefield NWR, standing out on the refuge road on the south side of the refuge where ducks were quite busy flying from spot to spot, as well as herons, bitterns, harriers, egrets and even kingfishers. It was a little change of pace for me as I usually shoot from inside my vehicle. This relatively low-flying Great Blue Heron took flight as I hit the burst on my 10 frames per second 7DII and panned from left to right. In a little over 3 seconds I took 35 frames of this bird. About half of the 35 had a sharp eye but many of these had a slightly busy background with trees that took away from the image overall. This shot was the 33rd shot in the burst and I liked the fact that the background trees are further away and more blurred out, actually breaking up the plain blue sky just enough to add interest. It was a great day with sun, a nice cool breeze (at least in the morning), the silence of the refuge, and camera in hand–and no mosquitoes!
By the way, Blue Herons typically fly with their necks collapsed into an S-shape to rest their neck, bill and head on their shoulders. Cranes fly with their necks outstretched. This bird seems to be breaking the rules although herons many times start off with temporary outstretched necks when they first take flight, then settle into the S-curved neck. Since this shot was taken only 3-4 seconds into its flight, we’ll give the bird a pass.
Best viewed LARGE.
Canon 7D Mark II, 1/2000, f4, ISO 500, 500mm, 8:55 a.m.