I visited a heron rookery this morning after two years of absence. I found only two nests when there were three two years ago… the last ice storm did a lot of damage to this area.
Upon arrival to the pond I frightened two herons on the nest closest to the shoreline where I was standing. One flew out of sight and the other, I’m guessing the female, flew to the top of a tree across the pond. There she perched for almost two hours. I waited patiently for her to return to the nest which was about 100 feet away though she never did. As I was just about to leave she took off form her perch and I quickly snapped 5 frames in succession. The above image was the best of the five.
The image was taken with an Olympus E-3 coupled to a Takahashi FC-60 refractor telescope (1000mm 35mm focal length). With that setup I had no choice but to shoot at a wide open aperture of f8 and I had to manually focus with rack and pinion focusing. So what I did was point the tripod-mounted camera and scope at the heron, leaving space in the direction I felt she might take flight, focus on her and hope when she took off that she flew in a plane parallel to me. What fun!