Squacco Heron lift-off

Now here’s a thing.  Going through my photos from Marievale, I came across a nice sequence of images of a squacco heron marching through the reeds. You can almost hear the martial music – tum ti tum ti tum ti DUM – as it crashes onwards and finally, clumsily, launches into the air.

I was going to say something also, tongue in cheek, about the perils of anthropomorphism, and how, Once Upon A Time As A Young Man, I would have scowled and protested at this characterisation. Animals are animals, I would have stated, with self-possession and authority. Don’t confuse them with humans.

One grows gentler, perhaps as one grows older, a little more tolerant. And I am able to laugh now at that righteous young fellow, and enjoy, without guilt, that marching band accompanying the heron. The point is, I do know better. And it doesn’t matter.

But then I came to this image, the last of this particular sequence, and realised it was in a different league altogether. Out of the window went the photo-story, the sequence of images going tum-ti tum-ti-tum through the reeds, and instead here is simply the one particular image I want to present to you. The chosen one.

Squacco heron # 5

Squacco Heron, Marievale

Once again, I had to call upon the distributed knowledge that resides in the heads of the many birders and photographers who are part of the SA Birdlife FaceBook page for help with identifying this Squacco Heron, spotted in the reeds beside the road at the Marievale Bird Sanctuary this Easter Friday.

Hopefully, in time, I will improve my own knowledge and become less of a nuisance to others….

Nikon D500, Nikkor 70-300mm f4.5/5.6 G ED VR, processed in Lightroom and Colour Efex Pro.