Pied Heron (Ardea picata) – Melbourne Zoo
Sometimes, I wish we could Talk to the Animals (or in this case……..Talk to the Birds).
For the first time, a Pied Heron was very close to where I was standing on the visitor walkway in the Great Aviary at Melbourne Zoo (earlier this last week) – well, about 12 feet away from the wooden walkway is what I call close (in this amazing cavernous space).
Great photo opportunity I thought when I saw it (I was looking upwards, not down, at the time so nearly missed it). Especially as it was at the lower end of The Great Aviary where the walkway slopes down to only about 3-4 feet off the ground and one is able to get photos more from the side (as opposed to the top end of the Aviary where you are standing about 20 feet off the ground and you look down).
All of a sudden it ruffled its feathers, as though to shake off excess water and I saw the movement out of the corner of my eye, turned my camera on and took a quick shot.
It was so sudden and so fleeting, that I wished I could have said “Can you please do that again – I want a retake so I can walk to the left a few feet and change my camera settings.”
I guess all photographers experience these fleeting opportunities when they wished they were standing in a different place or had a different camera setting.
The Photo below shows the Pied Heron in its usual ground area of the Aviary – surrounded by foliage which usually makes a very ‘busy’ composition. I have taken photos from the side when it is standing on a branch halfway up a large tree also. Either way, my 18-200mm telephoto lens can only reach so far.