Here he is again. On the same group of rocks in front of the same waterfall here at Clove lake where I first discovered him almost a year earlier to the day. If you've "leafed" through my galleries you've probably discovered that I add new pictures in more or less chronological order. If you follow that order you may remember seeing my first picture this guy 8 months ago practically standing at this very same spot.
My first encounter and photo attempt last spring ended miserably as all I got of him was a fuzzy shot of him taking off from these rocks as I attempted to get a shot of him against the waterfall as a cool looking back ground. I was at least 50 yards away from him as I crossed over the rocks across the stream in an attempt to stay FAR back and not spook him. But at that point he was probably a new visitor to the lake (at least during the day time anyway), and not used to people. In that kind of scenario your bound to fail as you just can't sneak up on a bird. Never ever ever ever.
By our second encounter last summer he had become much more used to people. Other wild herons, cormoran's, egrets, that come here often eventually ignore people, as most are walking their baby carriages, dogs or jogging and never pay attention to them. I believe the lack of attention by other wild birds to us eventually gets the new skittish visitors to relax a bit. I usually try to mimic the movements of other people passing through the lake for as long as possible as I make my slow winding non threatening trek towards my prize. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. This time it worked. As again I got really close to him. Though not quite as close as the shot I got of him last August. Nor did my luck hold as long as, if I recall correctly, some kids making noise playing near by combined with my camera's steady eye on him proved to be more than he felt like putting up with, as after 4 or 5 minutes he flew up into a tree. But not before I was able to get this shot of him at his favorite "fishing hole".
Clove Lakesspringbirdsheronsblack crowned night heronStaten IslandnatureNYC