Sunrise: 04.58 am Sunset: 09.16 pm
It was the heronry’s turn for a visit from me today. Forcing my way across the island, through shoulder-high stinging nettles and clouds of annoying flies, I arrived at my favourite vantage point around 8 am. For the first time this year, I stood on the edge of the stinking swamp surrounding the herons and their nests. I was not the only visitor, either: there were many deep footprints in the squelching mud. It soon became obvious, though, that I had left my visit too late in the year. I had hoped to take advantage of cover offered by newly leafed trees, but there were too many leafed branches obscuring me, which was a good thing, and my view of the herons on their nests, which was a bad thing. I could hear them, but I just couldn’t see them clearly.
Unlike previous years, I managed to fight my way across the island without attracting any bird alarm calls; I even managed to evade a couple of heron scouts soaring above. If they had seen me, they would have shouted loudly enough to raise all the herons into the air. I could see half-a-dozen herons on their nests, and could hear more out of sight to my right and left.
I stood behind a tree for an hour, but the herons were not interested in activity; perhaps they sensed the storm due to arrive this afternoon.