My good friend, Franc Gorenc, whom you have recently met through the pages of this blog, is almost a polar opposite. He is constantly searching for the perfect shot, especially of a creature animated by feeding or mating, or defending a territory or engaged in any other natural behaviour. He seeks to record life as it is in myriad interesting situations.
Franc made available to me all the photographs from our recent trip to Cuba that he felt were worthy of keeping, and encouraged me to use them in any way that I see fit. A generous gesture indeed!
He captured numerous images of herons and egrets in flight that impressed me. When we have students visit our bird banding operation at SpruceHaven we always go into considerable detail about the various feather tracts used in flight, having the advantage of course of a bird in the hand. Franc's pictures are a fine complement to this study, and armed with a rudimentary knowledge of the principles of avian flight, they facilitate the understanding of birds as superb masters of the air.
The juvenile form of Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea is white. Here is one coming in to land.
Adults are the familiar slate blue with a violaceous neck and head. This bird is ascending.
And this individual has just landed.
This individual is calling in mid-air.
Great Egret Ardea alba was a common species that we saw every day. Here is a series of varied flight shots.
I think everyone can agree that Franc has captured this large bird in many different phases of its flight, revealing the interplay of light and shade as it soars through the air.
Snowy Egret Egretta thula was also common.
I am sure you have enjoyed seeing Franc's pictures as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.