Green Heron, Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa

It all came together this evening after a four hour paddle tour on the Mississippi River and upstream into the Little Maquoketa River. Almost back at the sandy boat launch of Mud Lake Park I saw this Green Heron hunting for little fish at an opening in the dyke that separates the main river and the backwaters of Mud Lake.

Stretching is important, not only afer a long paddle tour...

The cousin of the Green Heron, the Great Blue Heron, is easy to find in the Mississippi Valley and I make only a click if the light has some quality or if there is an outstanding gesture or location. The Green Heron is not present in such high numbers and it is a very skittish bird. On my way out today I saw several birds, but the only reason I saw them was the fact that they took off and flew away before I even was in a range of 50 yards.

I don’t know why this heron accepted my presence in the boat so well, but it did. I had our dog Cooper in the cockpit but he stayed calm and quiet as usual. When approaching a bird or critter I usually give the kayak a push with the paddle before I grab the camera and just hope for the best. The current in the river at this location pushed me away from the bird several times and I had to paddle again for another chance to make a few clicks. This heron must have known that I waited for this moment since several years. As I said, it all came together, oh boy, I wished I could say this a lot more often…😉