A few years ago, I started using my Necky Kayak, a sit inside model to approach shorebirds, herons and the many species that live in the Mangroves and marshes. The shallow draft of the kayak allows me to get around in as little 4 inches of water. In using the kayak, below is a great example of the effect of back drop and lighting. This is the same Great Blue Heron, same rock, and same morning just outside Caleta Lobos. The kayak allowed me to maneuver for the shot with out stressing the bird too much, while also giving me what I consider to be two completely different shots due to the circumstances of each location. By moving the kayak just a few degrees brought the small island into the back ground and makes for a completely different shot.
So, next time you are out there looking for that great shot, and if the birds allow it, take just a second to look at the suns location, the background of the shot, and what you are looking to get from the photo. See how much moving a few degrees one way or the other can completely change the the picture