In my mind the most beautiful bird we have in Ireland is the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea). Others may disagree, but I’ve always loved these big, elegant, but rather skittish birds. Because they’re so easily frightened even a 200mm zoom often isn’t enough to get a great shot, but sometimes you get lucky, and you run into one that’s a little braver than most, and you can get a good shot without the cannon-sized lenses the Scott Bournes of this world use.

In Leixlip there’s a massive viaduct that takes the Royal Canal, its towpath and the Dublin to Sligo railway line across the river Rye and its rather large valley. This heron was sitting on the wall separating the railway from the canal on the viaduct, and he didn’t fly away even when I got right to the edge of the canal on the towpath. I was still a good 5 meters away, but I don’t usually manage to get even nearly this close.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
on FlickrFull-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/800 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

Tagged with: