Heronry Visit.

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.

IMG_805127TH MAY 2013a

A heron I photographed wading in the River Stour this morning.

10 Comments on “Heronry Visit.

  1. It is a beautiful portrait, your heron. Here in Cowichan Bay’s heronry, which I checked out last year without being spotted, the nests are up way to high to do anything with the longest lens I have, a pity. At any rate I shouldn’t be parading on their breeding grounds, the low tide water edge here brings them out for feeding, far enough away for them not to be easily disturbed.


    • Thank you, Joseph. Wilden Marsh herons are very skittish. I always have difficulty getting close to them anywhere on the marsh; they spot me a couple of hundred metres away, and often before I see them.


      • You know, I never thought about these herons here as skittish, but that is a fine way to describe them. To me they come across like they are totally disgruntled when they take of with that raucous cry and curse the living daylights out of you.


      • New marsh work party volunteers often comment on the heron’s call with: What was that!


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