Great Blue Heron

Greenfield Lake is one of my favorite places in Wilmington. It’s a large park nearly downtown with wonderful birding spots, and when I lived closer I’d visit two or three times a week. Since moving up close to Surf City, I haven’t had as much of an opportunity to get down there.

Trying desperately (and mostly successfully) to fight off the holiday blues, I traveled down and spent the morning of Christmas Eve there. Not far from where I usually park there is this one spot where the irregularly-shaped lake forms this little nearly-hidden lagoon, and despite its proximity to the trail and a ton of pedestrian traffic, there is almost invariably a large wader in the water there. Sometimes it’s a Great Blue Heron, sometimes a Great Egret, and sometimes both. On Friday, it was the former, and I crept up close enough to get this shot through the bushes.

It was a tough shot to get, and I only got off a handful of frames before I spooked my bird, so I’m pretty happy that I got this one. It’s my favorite shot from the day, and nailing a shot like this always helps lift my spirits. It’s a bit different skill than shooting naked people, but it renders an equally lovely high.