Without a boat, the closest photographers can get to the rookery at Lake Martin is standing at the edge of Rookery Road. From there, the closest bird nests are those occupied by Little Blue Herons. That’s the good news; the bad news is that these herons build their nests deep inside the large, tangled bushes near the edge of the lake and are usually difficult to photograph.
Here, for example, is one of the few nests we observed a couple of weeks ago.
Canon EOS 7D (600mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 sec, ISO400)
Unless one can find a clear shot through the branches, the only opportunity for a good view of these herons is when they fly around the upper parts of the bushes.
I was watching one Little Blue Heron perched higher up in the bushes when it made a move suggesting an opportunity to photograph a flight takeoff. The burst of shots I got, however, showed the heron merely jumping from one position in the bushes to another. Four of the recorded frames are shown below in chronological order. The images have been cropped to the same field of view to better show the distance the heron moved.
Canon EOS 7D (400mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO640)
Canon EOS 7D (400mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO800)
Canon EOS 7D (400mm, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec, ISO500)
Canon EOS 7D (400mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO500)
While certainly not the tragic Lover’s Leap of legend, this may have been another kind of lover’s leap. The leaping heron here seemed to have romantic designs on the other heron. On the other hand, I saw no hanky panky while I was observing them.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.