Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday (08) - Great Billed Heron

This is a Great Billed Heron, Australia's largest heron - it stands about 1.1 m tall and weighs in at around 2kg.  I managed to get these pictures during an evening boat trip on the Daintree River. It's general scarcity means that our knowledge of this bird is patchy to say the least. It was only know to breed in 5% of the record squares in the most recent Australian breeding atlas.  Not surprisingly it is considered to be rather elusive and shy.  This bird may be been elusive, but it was not shy!  As you can see we managed to get quite close and have a really good look at it.

The changes in colour between the pictures are caused by the use of a torch (flash light to some!) to get a better look.  You may ask why we were doing this.  Its hard to tell from the pictures just how dark it was at this time - and it really does show the light gathering power of the high ISO speeds on digital cameras - but you can also see the grain in the picture.




You can find a longer account of my boat trips on the Daintree River here.

Now it's you turn to get involved with WBW - click the link and off you go.

39 comments:

i stora drag said...

Nice pictures of your heron, Stewart!
And do you know what bird I've choose today??
Greetings from Pia in Sweden

TexWisGirl said...

congrats on getting to see (and photograph) him!

Carletta said...

I think you did a wonderful job getting shots of the heron.
Must have been a thrill to see it!
Really nice shots!

EG CameraGirl said...

What a thrill you must have felt! It sounds so rare.

Indrani said...

Great photo opportunity for you.

Hanne Bente said...

Nice pictures you show of herons.
Hanne Bente

Hilke Breder said...

Wonderful images, Stewart! The flashlight really changes the bird's appearance. It resembles our great blue heron, often seen standing motionless at the edge some pond watching for prey.

Brian King said...

Congrats on your photos! It looks a lot like the Great Blue Heron, but with more muted colors.

Andrea said...

He looks very much like the Great Blue Heron we have here in the states. They have become common along water ways. Your pictures are amazing for taking in the dark. Thank you again for keeping the WBW going.

Andrea @ From the Sol

Springman said...

Wild Bird Wednesday 8? How time flies!
Your heron takes are excellent especially considering the dark conditions. The grain is beautifully atmospheric in my opinion.

Great job steering the WBW ship of state. You are awesome Stewart!
Cheers!

Crafty Gardener said...

We love watching and photographing herons. I've got a juvenile heron this week ... is it a green heron or a black crowned night heron?

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

He is a big guy! And beautiful -- how wonderful that you got to see this elusive bird.

Thanks for hosting.

Fjällripan said...

What a great sighting! Beautiful photos and ofcourse beautiful bird!! :)

Anni said...

Beautiful.

Findlay Wilde said...

I really look forward to reading all your wilde bird wednesday blogs. From Findlay

bailey-road.com said...

What an impressive bird!

Carole M. said...

lovely photos Stewart, I'd not seen this heron before. I'm surprised really that it weighs so little

eileeninmd said...

Great sighting, Stewart. It is a beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing and for hosting WBW!

HansHB said...

Awesome photos of these Herons!
I'm glad for your 8 WBW!
Have a nice evening, - or perhaps day at your part of the world!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

What wonderful shots of this magnificent bird!

Island Rambles Blog said...

Wow...these are great close ups of your heron....I wondered why the different colors...using a torch...so many unique words in your country, like jumper for sweater!! Very colorful language and also birds!!

Larry said...

Super shots of this incredible bird Stewart! Thanks again for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday!

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous pictures!

mick said...

Oops! I read your WBW post first and then forgot to comment! Very interesting the difference the light makes on the color of the plumage. Great photos of a very interesting bird.

Linda said...

Very nice photos of the heron! Managing to see a rare bird is a treat, but getting to photograph it must have been a thrill!

i stora drag said...

Hi again!
*hi hi* Yes, it looks like it was an international heron week indeed!

I see your sort of heron is heavier than the one I got flying on my photos.

Glad to know you liked my jumping fish! I guess I was lucky - and fast - and patient...!
Have a nice day,Stewart, here in Sweden it's 12.45 pm right now. /Pia

Danielle said...

the blue heron is one of my favorite birds...they are very photogenic and boy when they fly they are absolutely stunning to watch.

Rita said...

Great capture. Interesting account also.

joo said...

Wonderful photos of the heron!
Have a nice afternoon:)

Nette Cecilia said...

Very nice photos of the heron ,Nette

Liz said...

Great series, Stewart! And what a great experience to photograph a rare bird.
I finally posted my Eastern Reef Egret... yes!

NatureFootstep said...

that bill really looks strong. I´m glad you got some shots of it. We need to learn about all birds. Some of the birds I psot from CR has very limited info. I can only show some shots but I wish I knew more about them.

You don´t really have to say thank you twice to me. It is I that should say ..Thanks for hosting. :)

Gillian Olson said...

Wonderful pictures, thanks for sharing this grea bird.

Carver said...

Wonderful shots of the herons.

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

Wow, these are gorgeous, thank you for sharing this majestic bird!

Marcia said...

My photos are mostly of herons, too.

SandyCarlson said...

These herons are very priestly! Wonderful stuff, Stewart.

Neil said...

Great photos of the Heron.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wow these are great captures of this elusive Heron. Interesting that there is not a lot known on this bird. Happy Weekend Stewart~