Monday, January 24, 2011
Great blue heron at sunset
We were looking to stretch our legs a bit last evening, but it was too late to go anywhere interesting in Marin, so we decided to check in on the burrowing owls at the Berkeley Marina. We saw two owls, and some other people that we talked to there said that there are as many as four reported in the park. However, right when we got to the park, this great blue heron was hunting rodents in the middle of the playing fields, and I ended up spending most of the good light left in the day on it.
The bird was pretty easy to approach since it was focused on the many gopher holes that cover the fields. We found a nice position and sat down in the grass with it. A handful of times it became very focused on a certain spot and appeared to get ready to strike, but the rodents were lucky this time, since we didn't get to see it catch anything. Eventually, it was spooked by the firing of a bottle rocket and it flew away.
I was excited about the potential of the setting, since the grass is starting to get some height to it. That meant that if I lowered the tripod so that the camera was maybe 6-8 inches off the ground, I could capture a bit of the sea of green around the heron. In the bottom two shots, I really like how the out of focus grass took on a painted quality, with the bunches looking a bit like brush strokes.