No Holding Back!

When David Schoen and I were at Ridgefield yesterday, the Great Egrets were coming out in pretty fair numbers by the time we did our second loop and the fog was beginning to lift a little bit. I haven’t been able to figure out exactly what this one was hunting for, but it was certainly enthusiastic about it. I even have a frame with it completely in the air diving head first for the ground, but it wasn’t quite sharp enough to post. I think this one conveys the idea.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Is the slightly soft far wing a problem? Should I have carried the dehaze all the way?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Anything you can think of.

Any pertinent technical details:

7DII, Sigma 150-600 C @ 361 mm, f/8, 1/1250, iso 2500, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to an 8.8 MP 4x5. Taken at Ridgefield NWR at 12:09 pm on November 24th.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Terrific capture of behavior and nostalgic for me. If there were gophers in that field, bet on it. I used to ride my bike the 10 miles each way between home in Eureka and college in Arcata, mostly through bottomlands. The banquet was set for both egrets and herons, finding their fill mostly on gophers but occasionally on frogs and garter snakes.

Usually the ones I see at Ridgefield hunt meadow voles, Hank, but this one came up with something small and difficult to make out. I don’t know if they’ll eat slugs, but it has that look about it. Interestingly it came up with a nice clean beak.

Huh… The “enthusiasm” of their strike made me guess something fast or subsurface. Dunno what to tell you about yours on your ground. Fun to study though! More time recommended! :smile:

This reminds me of one of those early years of flight crashed biplane images. Where were the Wright brothers when we needed them?
I like the behavioral image here. A real demonstration of how unwieldy these birds can be on the ground when they are so graceful in flight.

Neat image, I might be tempted to crop it tight, play with it and turn it into an abstract…

Very cool behavior shot! We have some GBHs that hunt in fields during the winter. I have seen them come up with what appears to be a mouse, but I don’t have any decent shots. I’d love to see what the egrets are catching. I agree with you that this really tells the story. Only critique is that the image looks a little noisy; I’m sure it’s due to the high-ish ISO combined with a heavy crop.