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Rise and Shine | by Kevin Wedgworth
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Rise and Shine

Least Bittern climbing out of the reeds at dawn, photographed in southeastern Michigan this past July.


As sometimes happens while immersed in nature, surprises can pop up when you least expect it (sorry but I couldn't resist). I was traveling down a trail early one morning when I came up a lone tree swallow perched amongst the reeds. Deciding that it was a decent enough photo op, I set up my tripod and framed a couple of shots. Suddenly the swallow flew off due to something shaking the perch just below my field of view. This least bittern was crawling its way up the reeds, initially unaware of my presence. From first to last shot, it tolerated me for just under a minute, after which time it flew off. For this duration, I was hoping it would pop its beak out from behind the reed. Of the shots taken, this one came the closest to that goal, although the beak is still slightly covered at the tip.


If I had not decided to stop for this particular tree swallow (a species for which I have numerous photos), this chance encounter would not have happened.


Looks better larger (click here or on the image).


Thanks for your comments!


EXPLORED on 09/15/2011.

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Taken on July 31, 2011