Some birds seem to change their behaviour according to their plumage. I’ve somehow noticed that the numerous Chinese Pond Heron is more confiding when in non-breeding plumage, which is drably streaked brown, than in the brightly coloured breeding plumage. It seems to be the reason why I’ve never successfully taken any photo of it in breeding plumage… until two weeks ago.
I came across this quite obliging Chinese Pond Heron in full breeding plumage on the morning of 11th April at Ban Cho Lae, my local birding patch. It was feeding alongside 2 other non-breeding birds on the edge of a rice field. By slowly driving towards it, I could get close enough for a decent shot. These birds always feel more comfortable with cars than human beings!
Even though it is one of the commonest birds around here, it was the first time for me to really get to photograph it nicely in breeding plumage. I spent almost an hour just photographing it before it walked into the thick rice field and disappeared.
To accompany this post, below are a couple of other birds taken on the same morning.