One of the earliest decisions I had to make when I first began filming at the river was
whether or not to hide my presence by erecting a blind. I have a small one that you simply throw into the air and it pops open. The list of cons outweigh the pros at this paticular site, though. One of the major deterents is the fact that a blind limits your view. This location is ideal for what I am doing. There are almost no obstructing trees along the bank, so I have an almost 180 degree view of the river. It is a straight stretch between two river bends about a quarter mild apart and I am right in the middle. There are also two fishing areas, one to my right and one to my left in which the birds routinely catch fish.
I decided when I first started filming there to try simply standing there in the open and see what developed. After my early experience, I have never found it necessary to hide my presence. I don’t make any noise and I don’t move around very much. The birds seem okay with that as long as they don’t get super close.
Which brings me back to the Great Blue Herons. Bent over the camera with my eye to the viewer, I thought for sure they would recognize what I was a veer off. With the camera on the tripod and me hunched over, they apparently didn’t recognize the human “danger” and they continued to fly toward me until the lead bird dropped down and landed briefly right beside me. Only then did it recognize what I was, and immediately took to the air where, along with it’s mate, it flew just a hundred feet or so down the shoreline and landed again.
This was the last shot I took of the lead bird before it landed beside me.