Difficult herons.

Heron watching me from its nest.

10th March 2012: Soon after dawn this morning I crept gingerly past trees festooned with dead, dry and brittle branches, towards the heronry. I knew it was too early in the year to fool the herons. I should have known better. I obviously didn’t, because I still went. I was well-prepared and cloaked in RealTree netting and a facemask, but they heard my approach and took flight before I got anywhere near them. Stepping on a dead branch was what did it. The loud cracking sound of the branch breaking ricocheted off every tree trunk in the area. Fifteen to twenty herons took to the air instantly, leaving me standing stock-still hoping that they would fly a circuit, fail to see me, and return to their nests. No such luck! I don’t know what possessed me to make the trudge through that smelly gnat infested swamp so early in the year. There just weren’t enough leaves on the trees to hide beneath. When, eventually, I could see the heronry, there was a single courageous heron standing on a nest.

Sentry Looking for me.

I waited for half an hour. The lone heron had flown away a few minutes after my arrival. When the herons didn’t return to their nests, I accepted defeat graciously and made for North Pond with images of two herons and a cormorant in my camera.

I did see a muntjac deer, but this was only partial compensation.


I was thankful for one thing though: I had remembered to put a can of insect repellent in my waistcoat pocket.

I won’t be visiting the heronry again until the end of May/beginning of June: after the chicks have been born….

16 Comments on “Difficult herons.

  1. Sometimes I want the picture so badly it does over shadow the whole experience a bit.
    The Muntjac deer looks so foreign and bizarre to me…very cool.
    I’m glad we are still weeks away from the warm brining significant insects and jealous of your camo gear.


  2. Thanks, Melissa.

    You shouldn’t be jealous of my camo gear, for $25 for a large piece of RealTree camo netting, a needle and cotton and a roll of duct tape, you also can be cammed up. 🙂


  3. There are some superb photos on your blog. Will keep it among my ‘favourites’. I especially like the heron image on 10 March. A friend of mine in East Anglia says are are impossible to take without a long camera lens – and a long wait!


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