Dead Heron (4 images)

I spent this morning on the riverbank photographing and filming herons and their chicks on their heronry nests, 130 metres to the west across the River Stour.

Mervin turned late morning; he too was attempting to count the herons and their nests – for the record, I reckon there are 10 or 12 nests and maybe more. We chatted for a while and he left for Stour Hill to get a better look down onto the heronry.

10 minutes after Mervin departed, I saw two men trespassing on the Island, close to the heronry. I shouted and they quickly disappeared the way they came, I managed to get a few photographs of them.

I moved 50 metres upstream and found, prone on the ground, a very sad sight: a dead heron.

The heron was unmarked, apart from what looks like a air gun pellet wound to the left of its eye (See the third image).

I have no idea if the men I photographed had anything to do with the death of this majestic bird, but the carcass was very fresh and they were carrying scoped air rifles.

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IMG_4210 (2) 2 - Copy

IMG_4212 (3) 2 - Copy

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20 Comments on “Dead Heron (4 images)

    • Indeed it is! It looks like we have spent a lot of money improving the island for the herons and other fauna and flora, but what we have made is a shooting ground for the local airgun enthusiasts.

    • Yes Tom. It is very sad, but so are a lot of things that happen in our world. I suspect that there are very many more people who feel sad at herons being killed than there are those who revel in it.

      Maybe the north marsh fox will take the heron home for recycling; you can be sure the carcass will not be wasted.

      I will be on my way to the marsh shortly, and I will check to see if the carcass has been collected.

      If I had my wits about me yesterday, I would have left a camera trap there. The results might have been worth posting.

      • It would have been interesting to see the results. I am curious as to why anyone should shoot a heron.

  1. How awful! I cannot understand such people. Do you think they are the same people you saw off before? Is it worth reporting it to the police? Someone was shooting magpies and pigeons in our garden a couple of years ago, we reported it and the police leafletted the area. Since then we have had no problems.

  2. Why do people do this? Is it just for fun, they are not planning on eating the herons but just like shooting at defenceless targets? Disgusting.

    • Who knows, Emily! A suspect a combination of fun, sport, sharpening their skills as a shooter; perhaps they have a problem with herons eating fish.

  3. Oh noooo! How can people behave this way?!? It’s just sickening 🙁 Have you taken the image evidence to the RSPB and the police? Perhaps a few camera traps could be placed in order to deter or catch out the villains?

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