In the mornings when I walk my dog, it's light out, so I often take him into the back yard and more or less walk the perimeter with him. Part of the perimeter is the creek, and on Thursday and Friday morning I disturbed a blue heron into taking off. Both times it was in the same section of the creek, where there's a gap in the shrubs behind our picnic patio. In the summer, that's where my great-nieces and -nephew go down to dabble in the creek, but in the winter the water is much higher and faster. I wish I had seen the heron standing in the water, but both times I was unaware of his presence until I heard the noise of his taking flight, but at least I do then see him fairly close up while he takes off.
Last week, I saw a couple of ducks swimming in the creek a couple times. When they realize I'm there, they just let themselves drift downstream away from me. I could see a male and a female, and downstream another male. They are mallards with the green head.
Here's a video from a couple years ago of ducks like these (or the same ducks?) in the back yard.
It's kind of a thrill to see those wild birds up close.