Taken at a local conservation area at sunrise. Pentax K-3 and A* 600 f/5.6.
That's a really nice capture. There are a lot of these birds in my area, but they are very leery. Most times they're gone as soon as I'm spotted.
I prefer your first image. The grass near the head and eye in the second is not an asset to my eye. If you're careful you might get away with cloning the greenery to the right of the bird out in the second image.
The flight radius for GBH's in my neck of the woods - central Indiana - seems to be about 75 yards, so I feel your pain.
In Florida, they go on vacation mode sometimes, and their flight radius seems to be more like 7 yards. Maybe its the warm weather.
The first one my favorite with the reflection and stance, nice and crisp. Beautiful!!! The second seems a bit over exposed but thats just me. The foreground weeds a bit distracting and seems the heron a bit out of focus?