The heron tourist

Rob DeBay .04.02.08.jpg

I’m a member of NSBS on Facebook and reports were pouring in of a very rare Tricolored heron being spotted in Sambro. They are typically residents of the southern states. It was likely blown here by one of the March storms. I’d never seen one so off I went with my Canon to Sambro. Upon arriving, Laurie Ann and a few other birders were there taking in the rare sight but at a distance too far to capture with any amount of acceptable photo quality. I packed it in after a brief stay. I didn’t even take my camera out of the bag.

Round two occurred two days later; a misty afternoon with dull light. During my first attempt, I’d noticed a spot near a calm pool of water where, if the stars aligned, I’d get some good shots where the muted background (grey appearance to the water) would make the awesome colours of the bird ‘pop’. I settled in, crouched behind a granite boulder under a spruce tree, and 20 minutes went by without the bird appearing.

As luck would have it, my patience paid off and without warning, the heron appeared out of the mist and landed 20 feet in front of me! It was surreal; just me, my camera and this beautiful bird posing for me! It fed, preened and rested for 40 minutes and was never more than 50 feet away from me. It knew I was there but remained extremely calm and cooperative. I couldn’t believe what was happening in front of me. I took hundreds of ‘keepers’ with my Canon 70D and EF 100-400 L Mk II and I’m VERY pleased with my images! They are proving to be quite popular. It was an experience I’ll never forget and provided me with some shots of a lifetime!

—Rob DeBay