Gulls do not excite me. I am slowly starting to develop an addiction to waders, but Pond Herons, they really do it for me. I am a late-comer to Pond Herons, only having seen my first Ardeola Pond Heron in July of 2011. But it was love at first sight.
Heading down toward Kaeng Krachan National Park, Alex Vargas (birdingblogs’ newest member) took us off to the famous Laem Pak Bia salt marshes and mangroves; and Pak Thale – famous for Spoonbilled Sandpipers in Winter. No Spoonbilled Sandpipers or Nordman’s Greenshanks around in August, but there was tons to keep us entertained. With more patience than a Tibetan hermit monk, Alex drove me from Javan Pond Heron to Javan Pond Heron, with me making him stop at every single one there was about. Anywhere. And there were tons of them. Everywhere. Bless the man. How on earth did he not manage to flip out and develop a complex against mad South Africans with a crush on Pond-Herons?
So we cruised up and down taking photos from the car and sorting back through them now, the bird still strikes me as ridiculously beautiful.
So having said nothing of any interest to anyone else, I will leave you – dear reader – with a promise. Before I die, I shall see as many Pond Herons as I can possibly fit in. Unless of course I get distracted by a chase after some pittas.
All photos digiscoped with a Swarovski STM80, TLS800 and a Canon 5D mark II from Alex’s car and super-duper window-mount. All images uncropped and without any tlc from photoshop.