As we approach winter it is now easier to get up before first light as it gets light so much later. On Thursday, which just happened to be my 60th birthday, I got up and head down to the river just getting there as the sun started to rise above the tree line. I was hoping to see some Nankeen Night Heron’s but couldn’t find them, but I did find a strangely cooperative White-faced Heron who was happy to sit on a branch and allow me to get close enough to photography. The bird was looking into the rising sun and the warm glow was reflected off his feathers. The heron looked very majestic just perched there. A wonderful start to the day.
Walking up past Monger’s Weir I didn’t see anything more so I decided to head back and grab a coffee at the local bakery. As I was walking back I spied a Great Egret in one of the billabongs beside the main river. We’ve recently had a lot of rain so it was full and the egret was in the cooler shade of the trees while the golden light played on the foliage. Again another magical moment. Although Great Egrets are fairly common along the river it had been ages since I’d last photographed one. Again it was quite happy to let me sit quietly and take its picture. It knew I was there as occasionally it would stare at me as if to say “You still here?”. Eventually a boisterous dog burst through the undergrowth and put the bird to flight. It didn’t fly far – just 10 metres or so to the top of a dead sheaoak tree. By now the sun was well and truly up and we had the most brilliant blue sky so I quickly grabbed some shots of the egret against it.
As I got near to the swing bridge to cross over into town some galas were playing around in the trees so I spent the next half hour photographing their antics. After a coffee I walked back to the car and saw four Nankeen Night Herons – three adults and a juvenile – so I grabbed a few shots of them. A perfect end to a great photo session and a perfect start to a great day.