I walked through Hoo Wood last night. Bluebell, honesty and forget-me-not seem to have bloomed during the last 24 hours.
For weeks now I’ve struggled to come up with a definite number of breeding heron pairs’ nests at the heronry. I’ve looked at the heronry from all possible directions along the eastern bank of the River Stour, and from high up on Hoo Wood ridge, and I have tried photographing the individual nests. The final figure I’ve settled on is twenty occupied nests. The trees are greening up to the point where I don’t think I will better this number.
Some of the heron chicks are large and obvious, whilst others are less developed and crouched down in their nests.
The heron chicks are growing fast. The heronry is greening up very quickly, too, and soon I won’t be able to see them at all apart from high up on Hoo Wood ridge. I’m filming the herons from a distance of 150 metres today. I can get closer, but it’s difficult to get a clear view and it’s very wet and boggy around the heronry. They herons also fly away when I get too close. So I try to do the best I can from the riverbank. My videos are good enough for my record purposes.
I spent around four hours filming this morning in overcast conditions. There was a great deal of nature sounds and birds calling, but I didn’t push my shotgun microphone plug firmly enough into the camera socket – so I returned home with silent video clips.
The first image on this video shows a view from my hide. The heronry is in the background treeline, and extends well beyond to the right and left. I am focusing on the largest tree in the centre of the image; it’s possible to just about make out the herons I am photographing.
Shame I forgot to switch the sound on!