I was at the Sally Jones West Causeway in Oklahoma’s Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge when I caught this once-in-a-lifetime shot of a Great Egret swallowing a Crappie. This spot has been a goldmine for bird watching and nature photography, with both Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons frequently catching and devouring fish.
To get the shot, I set up shop just like I did for my Great Blue Heron photos. I parked my pickup by the side of the auto tour road, and propped my camera and lens on a bean bag perched on the open window. The beauty of this setup is that it’s stable enough to capture even the most fleeting moments, like a Great Egret gulping down a fish.
As I patiently waited, I watched as the Great Egret waded in the water, its keen eye scanning the surface for its next meal. Suddenly, it darted its head down and scooped up the Crappie in its beak, swiftly swallowing it whole. It was a split-second moment, but I was able to snap the perfect shot.
Capturing this image was a true thrill. It’s always a rush when all the elements come together – the right location, the right subject, and the right equipment – to create a stunning photo. But this one was extra special, showcasing the raw power and grace of one of nature’s most elegant hunters.
So, whether you’re a seasoned nature photographer or just a lover of the great outdoors, I highly recommend a visit to the Sally Jones West Causeway. You never know what you might photograph!
• Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
• Date Taken: June 24, 2020
• Aperture: f5.6
• Shutter speed: 1/1600 sec.
• ISO: 800
• Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
• Focal Length: 500 mm
• Lens: Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM
• Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II