The American Lotus grows abundantly in isolated spots on Lake Martin. At this time of the year, the blossoms are nearly gone but the pads are still healthy. The patch of lotus pads seen in the foreground of the photo below provided the stage for the rest of the photos in this post, all taken just after sunrise.
As I moved to the right after taking the above photo, I spotted a juvenile Little Blue Heron through the tall shoreline grass. It was walking on the aforementioned lotus pads.
As it strolled on the lotus pads, the heron usually had no difficulty stepping from one pad to the next.
Occasionally, however, the pad separation was enough that the heron had to use its wings for help. The following three-shot sequence shows one of those situations. (I apologize for not noticing in the viewfinder that I was clipping the heron’s head while framing the second shot.)
The reason for the heron’s morning stroll on the lotus pads was apparently that it was breakfast time. Here, it found a wormy thing to eat.
Another time, the heron found a small fish. After this shot was taken, the heron had to repeatedly drop and pick up the fish to get it correctly oriented for swallowing. Unfortunately, its ensuing body positions precluded decent shots of that process.
Finally, after spending over five minutes within shooting range of my lens, the heron started moving away from me in search of more food. I got one last portrait of it before it was too far away.
My limited experience has led me to believe that juvenile birds like this one have not yet learned to be as fearful of humans as their parents are. I like that for photographic purposes, but I guess it’s best that they eventually learn to avoid human contact and thereby increase their chances of survival.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.