Thanks for your comments.
In regards to the flash, it is easy enough to press the button to activate it, but it isn't easy to remember that I have on, lol. Especially when I didn't recall turning it on. But when I'm taking pictures I'm so focused on getting the shot that I forget to check things like the flash. Yes, even when the flash door is popped up and right in my face.
My camera is a Sony dslr 550. I'm always having to think about the settings for the light conditions, shutter speeds, iso's, whether or not I have the flash set on fl or wl, and if the subject is in focus. My eyes aren't what they used to be so sometimes I can't tell if my subject is properly focused. I even use the eye piece instead of the LCD screen so that I can see better. I try to make adjustments as I go but that usually gets me into trouble, lol. There is so much to learn about this camera that I've only had since last September.
I was so bummed about how my heron pictures turned out. Fortunately, I had my camera set to take raw image files as well as jpg. My hubby has a computer program that is used with raw files so that it can save some of them. Still, I like a good shot without having to tweak it. Makes me feel like I've accomplished something.
As we were driving around the lake we saw a black vulture standing in a tree. We turned around to get a picture but when we passed the spot we couldn't see it. So we turned around yet again and continued our journey. To my surprise I saw it just in time to stop the car. It had dropped to the ground to snack on an opossum. I got a few pictures after it had flown back in a tree nearby. I didn't have long to take some shots as some cars came up behind us. The trials of photographing wildlife! Sometimes there never seems to be a good spot to be to get a good shot. I saw so many coots on the water but there was no place to stop. And so often I see a good shot but by the time I see it the moment is gone.
When we first stopped at the site where the geese and heron was there was a heron that flew up and landed on a pine tree branch. I took pictures as I slowly walked towards the tree to get even closer. But that pesky telephoto lens makes it hard to focus on exactly what I want it to. The shots are ok but not what I wanted. Still, that's the first time that I have seen a heron standing on a branch that close up. It was really cool. And there was some bignonia vine on that tree that had beautiful yellow and red trumpet shaped flowers on it. I didn't see the vine until I saw the picture file on the computer. It never ceases to amaze me what the camera picks up that I don't see.