I knew from our trip preparations that there are grey herons in the Maldives. But little did I know how much effort it would take to find and photograph them…
In getting ready for our voyage to Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives, I learned from one of our fellow bloggers, that in fact grey herons live there. They had managed to catch a mature specimen in one of their snapshots. It was on the beach somewhere and apparently quite far from the water villas, but not bad!
Then, on our first day there, I also caught sight of a grey heron on the beach across from our water bungalow’s sun terrace. Gone were all thoughts of leisure: as fast as I could, I took off with camera and telephoto lens to capture my own specimen of the fowl. Photographically speaking, that is.
Wading slowly and ever so carefully through the shallow water, I got as close as I could and actually did manage to get the odd snapshot!
That was that, I thought. The little fellow is in the bag. Satisfied with self and world, I stomped through water and sand back onto our sundeck, to savor the day after my successful large animal hunt.
A bit later, I was somewhat surprised when we spied yet another grey heron on the ride back from a dive. This time it was a stately specimen that greeted us by the entrance to the lagoon. Right up front there on “One Palm Isle” it was stalking through the shallow water on the lookout – for divers and no doubt even more so for finger food.
Imagine my even greater surprise the next morning when we were sitting at breakfast on the beach and another one of these grey herons was there to keep us company, and this time in really trusting fashion almost by our table!
Erfan, our waiter, seeing our big eyes and cameras going into ready mode, with a laugh that let his snowwhite teeth shine, finally let on that this was “Bob,” the island’s grey heron… He came at breakfast time every day, because now and then the tourists brought him something from the fish buffet.
Only now did I notice how Bob would hurriedly stalk to the next table each time that new guests arrived for breakfast. And now I also knew how that “intrepid” photo on this other blog came to be: not after an adrenaline-fueled hunt through mangrove jungle, but shot from a comfortable beach-side chair…
Incidentally, the house grey heron was named after an investor in the resort who often passes through the island. From that morning on, Bob was a constant presence: not only did he show up daily for breakfast, one time he even paid us a courtesy visit on our sundeck!
What an adventure ;-)