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.