It seems whenever I'm taking photos near the water here in Florida, herons are never too far away. They're skittish to be sure so you can't just walk up to them and expect to get a picture. Having a telephoto lens helps a lot, with this shot I was back a ways and still able bring the bird up close. I'm not a wildlife photographer, but once in a while if the opportunity presents itself I'll go for it. Real wildlife photographers have a lot of patience, and work long and hard to get a good image. In this case I positioned myself so the heron was framed by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and fired away.
While I was here a couple of serious or "real" wildlife photographers walked up. They had big heavy long lenses and tripods that looked like something I'd expect to see on an African safari. They were here taking photos of the birds including this one. They had serious looks on their faces to go with the equipment they were carrying. Anyway, I got my shot, nodded to them and left the bird in their expert care.
Even today, a couple of weeks after I took this shot, I was by the water again and another Heron landed right in front of me. Again I tried to work him into the shot from a good distance so as not to spook him. Not always do the shots work, but it never hurts to try. When I take photos I try to keep my eyes open for any happy coincidence that might happen. Sometimes it helps to add another element to the story, sometimes it might even become the main subject. Anyway, in this case it just seemed to work, thanks to buddy bird here.