Close encounters of the bird kind

If you're stumbling across this in the interweb; this story is about a beautiful experience I had on the first night of my summer holiday. I was taking photos, and listening to the Gloaming play Samhradh Samhradh 

Give it a listen, picture the scene.

There I was, on a jetty, setting up some shots on what was a beautiful calm evening in Crosshaven, Co. Cork.

It took me a bit to get the settings right for the scene I was trying to capture, but finally I reckoned I had it, and pressed "click" ...

Just then, out of the pitch darkness, an enormous heron flapped to a halt, landing on the jetty about 4 foot from me. It stood not far off the height of my 6 year old daughter.

I was wearing mostly black, like any self respecting night-stalker, and my appearance came as a bit of a surprise to the heron. We faced each other for what seemed like much longer than I'm sure it was...the heron gazed back at me, cocked its head, flap-flapped its wings, and off it swooped back into the darkness. 

Remarkably our encounter was recorded. The heron's landing, its look at me and eventual departure were caught on 2 long exposure shots, seen below - with a more detailed section below each showing the heron in better detail

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 Heron comes into land

Heron comes into land

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Heron gives me the beady eye and leaves...

I love these little accidents. 

Just when my heart started beating again, about 2 minutes later, I saw something moving in the water. A pair of otters swimming alongside each other cruised along right by where I stood.  Off they went, happy out...

Let's just say; it was an emotional few minutes.