Can herons be found near the center of big cities??

September 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Ok I have to admit I have no interest in bird photography (although I admire some amazing  bird photos in CiC) but here is a funny story about a good friend of mine. He (or she) is a heron (I think..).

Last July I spend two weeks in Barcelona for business and of course I was shooting daily, mainly in the afternoons. One day I decided to visit the fabulous Parc de la Ciutadella for some golden hour shots being interested in the huge fountain.  I was so absorbed in the process that soon it was dark and I found myself almost lost in the park. Since it closes during night (yes I was locked in) there are no lights in some parts of the park. Trying to find the exit in (almost)  total darkness I noticed some ducks in a lake so it was time for my speelight. The results came as a surprise, the ducks were sitting on  dozens of boats in the lake which I could not see so I kept shooting. And suddenly the LCD of my camera revealed this little guy:



I know nothing about birds but is it a heron??

Being anxious about my way out I just said goodbye to the bird and left to find an exit. Fortunately a rail was missing near the main exit providing an escape.

The story was repeated two days later, this time shooting the main fountain. The fountain is lighted by almost monochromatic sodium vapor lamps heavily altering the colors of the scene. And there was my little friend:



This time I knew I could safely find my way out so I tried a few techniques. The bird was near the middle of the fountain about 10 meters from me so I had my 430EX II zoomed all way down to 105mm at full power to get this one:



Not a great photo I know but I was thrilled to find such a bird near the center of a big city.

 

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Update: As my friends in Cambridge in Colors informed me it looks it is a Great Blue Heron. According to [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blue_Heron"]wikipedia[/URL] the Great Blue Herons can be found in North America with little records in west Europe. So not not only I found a heron in the center of a big city but also found a rare vagrant to Europe!!



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