Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife and increase harmony between humanity and nature.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Green Heron Hunting

Bill Anderson responded to the earlier post titled, "Great Blue Prey" by sending in the following Green Heron Hunting photos and story. A complete contributor posting including a biography section is new territory for Union Bay Watch. I hope you enjoy this change of pace.

Bill's Green Heron Hunting Story:

Last summer a fellow Edmonds bird photographer told me that he had seen a green heron in the small pond at Scriber Creek Park in nearby Lynnwood. On 8/30/12, my son Daren and I drove over to check it out. The heron was hidden in the shadows on the south side of the pond and flew across to the north side as we approached.  I snapped some photos of the heron in flight using the "walk & stalk" weapons of choice from my photo arsenal: a Canon 5D Mk III + 100-400L telephoto zoom lens.

The heron looked as though it were going to remain in the sunshine on the north side of the pond for awhile, so we returned to the pickup to drag out the heavy photo firepower: my long range package of a Canon 7D + 1.4 teleconverter + 2.8/400L telephoto lens mounted on a heavy duty tripod.  The cropped frame sensor of the 7D coupled with the 1.4 teleconverter gives me an economy class .35mm equivalent of a 4.0/876mm telephoto lens. 

The heron initially stalked dragonflies, some of which are visible in the photos.   

(Did you see the two red dragonflies in the previous photo? Larry)

It found a large bullfrog tadpole...

...which had not quite developed into a full grown adult ...

    ...and ate it.

The Frog Lady, whose shop is at the Edmonds Marina, told me that the bullfrog is an invasive species which threatens our native amphibian population, 

...so bravo for the heron. 

Bill Anderson's Birding Bio:

Larry: When and what inspired you to get interested in photographing birds? 

Bill: I have always been interested in nature since I was a kid and I began photographing trains back in the 70's.  It was only natural to take up photography after I retired nearly six years ago. Birds are all around us and the easiest of the wild creatures to find and photograph. Without the costs of purchasing and developing film, the new digital cameras make learning relatively easy and inexpensive after the initial capital investment in photography equipment.

Larry: Tell us about the one, single bird siting that you found most enjoyable?

Bill:  I find all bird sightings enjoyable.  One of my most memorable occurred last year when I spotted a snowy owl for the first time.  It was sitting on the roof of a house in Edmonds only about two miles from my home.

Larry: Are you an active member in any birding organizations or activities?

Bill:  I am on the planning committee of the annual Puget Bird Fest in Edmonds.

Larry: What books, software, birding gear, etc. would you recommend to someone who is interested but never done any birding?

Bill:  Being firmly rooted in the 20th century, I forego the latest electronic gadgets with the exception of my high end (Canon) digital camera equipment.  For our local birders, I recommend "Birds of the Puget Sound Region" by Bob Morse et al, which is available in many local book stores.  It is small enough to take to the field in the pocket of a jacket or cargo pants and it contains 99% of the birds you will see locally. Keep that heavy Sibley's at home on the bookshelf, as most of the birds in it are not found in our area. I also recommend local birders subscribe to "Tweeters", an internet bulletin board, where members report recent bird sightings in Washington and adjacent areas in Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.   

I hope you enjoyed Bill's story as much as I did. Please let us know what you think.

Thank you!


Odds and Ends:


  1. Yeah, you go G.Heron! Best solution to dealing with those Big-Bully-Bulls I've seen to date!

    Fantastic panel of images!!!

  2. Thanks for the excellent blog highlighting Bill's photos. Good job! Subscribed!

    1. Thank you! Heather I hope the process of subscribing was painless. It is a Google thing that I do not have control over. Thank you for having the interest and taking the time.

  3. Excellent! The photos are very fine, and I really appreciate all the references. Very well-written, too.

  4. Wonderful photographs - thank you.

    1. You are welcome. Bill really caught the action. The red of the dragonflies is what amazes me the most. I usually see blue dragonflies around Union Bay but I did notice a few red ones later in the summer. I will have to watch next summer to see to the red ones are around all summer or just towards the end. Happy Holidays!

  5. Hi Larry - I me you and your sweet dog on a walk 12/31/12 with my girls and our friends at Lake Washington. Do you have the name of the breeder whom you got your dog? Thank you! Lisa (lisa.l.smith@hotmail.com)

  6. Keep on Birding and photographing! Great to see and informative too!
    Linda S. Whidbey Island