Rain was now moving in, so made the decision to head back. Just as I approached the edge of a pond, I looked across & down and there huddled up was this young Black-Crowned Night Heron (Photo #1).
So quietly moved in, took some shots & then as I increased my range, I spotted the adult (Mum/Dad) sitting in the willows just a short distance away (Photo #2).
Just couldn't resist and I pulled back the lens and got the two together sitting so still (Photo #3). I looked down to drop my water bottle and when I looked up, they had both disappeared into the willows.
I thought they might creep back in so I waited but a short time later two adults & the youngster flew out of the wetland, landed in the nearby trees and then flew off again into the middle of the marshes.
Earlier this Spring, I was fortunate to capture this pair of Black-Crowned Night Herons on a number of occasions but have noticed in the last month or so, their range has increased & is further into the ponds. At first I thought they were trying to avoid the bullying of the Red-Winged Blackbirds (which might be one reason). However, having captured this youngster on its own ("The Night is Still Young" blog - July 20/2023), coming out of the middle of the marsh where the adults had frequented earlier, I believe they had nested and raised at least one offspring. Now that "junior" has earned its wings & can fish on its own, there is no longer a need for this family to stay in one spot.
And so now they can travel across the wetland network as a family, allowing the young heron ample opportunity to increase its flight skills & endurance in time for the migration south.