Why do I prefer shooting purple herons in the reeds? It’s all about color contrast. During evenings this location is perfectly front-lit, so blue sky and deep yellow foliage is a given. Mix it with the browns and reds of the heron and you’re almost ready.
The only fly in the ointment is that you’ll have to shoot through the reeds. This had been quite a challenge before the 7D Mark II – this fantastic little camera has an AF system that can track the birds even when they fly behind the reeds. No camera before that was able to do it with such a good success rate. I had to spend an afternoon to fine tune the system, but was well worth the effort. (Tracking sensitivity: -1, Accel./decel. tracking: 2, AF pt auto switching: 2 is what I use in case you are curious.)