Swanning it!

Swans usually mate for life, though “divorce” does sometimes occur, particularly following nesting failure, and if a mate dies, the remaining swan will take up with another.

This couple are on the South Pool.

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Spotting Heron on the Ground

More often than not, herons are seen on the ground in open areas, but only because they are extremely difficult to see in thick undergrowth. The best way to spot herons in dense undergrowth is to scan small areas with your binoculars or camera, which is exactly how I managed to photograph this one.

Sometimes herons are found in amongst long dry grasses, as in this image, because they are more likely to hear ol’ Red or his vixen creeping up on them.

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Heron Scout

Herons like to see what is happening around them. This one is on sentry duty in the highest tree overlooking the heronry. If anything unusual is seen or heard, the sentry is despatched to investigate and report.

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Caught under a bush

Red seems switched on at the moment. I’m hopeful that there will be a den on the north marsh this year; if not, then maybe somewhere along Hoo Wood hill.

Red has caught me hiding under a bush with my camera and a net over my head. A  breeze is blowing from him to me, so I don’t believe he can smell me. I walked carefully around the pasture perimeter to avoid leaving my fresh scent all over the place. The red dog knows the marsh so well!  Maybe I made a noise. I get my own back by capturing his image. He walks slowly away, so perhaps his sixth sense has alerted him and he hasn’t seen me at all.

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Determination!

The look of determination on Red’s face is incredible. He’s popping up all over the marsh and hardly gives me a glance today… what a character! I wonder if Red has had a row with the missus?

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Foxy by Nature

This is Red’s vixen, and she will be thinking of denning later this month.

I will follow fox runs and look for increased vixen activity towards the end of this and the beginning of next month: signs of test digging or an actual den. I will also keep an eye open for Red Dog carrying kills; he will be taking food to the vixen’s den for a couple of months after her confinement.

I didn’t find a den last year, nor did I see any cubs. I think there was too much tree felling activity and she denned off-marsh; hopefully, things will be different this year.

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Passing with our own places to go and our own things to do

We pass each other often lately; always in opposite directions. Those eyes! We stop and stare at one another. Something passes between us: an acknowledgement or recognition; I don’t know which! Red Dog no longer runs away from me. He doesn’t see me as a threat. After what seems like an extraordinarily amount of time he continues on his way, as do I. I feel we have made a connection.

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