I took a friend's advice and visited St. Mary's College of Maryland one morning in search of a great blue heron. Blue herons are fairly common in St. Mary's County, but they are fairly skittish and fly away the instant I bring out my camera. I didn't see any herons, but I have learned to look around to see if I see anything else interesting to photograph. I photographed a few red winged black birds clinging to the tall grass and some tall fluffy grass fronds, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the angles and backgrounds. The birds were too small even with my 300 mm lens. As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed a large bird in the top of a nearby tree. I slowly walked toward it, trying not to scare it away. I didn't know what type of hawk it was until I got home. Red shouldered hawks apparently like deciduous forests and mainly eat small mammals. I identified it by its red underparts and brown body.
A little patience can lead to unexpected results!