Saturday, February 04, 2006

High-flying herons

I think Spring might happen - what a great day! At the moment the sky is the most wonderful pink colour behind our house, though the North-eastern view from the front is grey and misty once more. It's been sunny all afternoon, and for the first time I discovered the heronry in Kilmun Arboretum. Usually we drive past the enormously tall trees, but today the car park area was closed off and we had to leave the car in the road below and walk up.

I thought at first there was a dog yelping on the hillside above us, but a quick phonecall to the more bird-savvy Di established that this raucous noise came from a heron, somewhere high above us among the trees. Sure enough, one appeared, circled lazily, and returned to cover. But later, as we came down again, there was the most hellish din from another stand of conifers as a visiting heron from the left of the path was chased off a treetop by a resident of the right-hand side. It was amazing to see these two huge birds flapping about in such an unlikely fashion - and just as extraodinary to watch the victor return to perch triumphant on the swaying top branches of the disputed tree.

I didn't have my camera - it's sitting with the other NZ-bound gubbins in case I forget it. Damn.

2 comments:

  1. Herons are LOUD - there was one that lived near the pond out the back of the flat I rented when I first moved back to Paisley. What always struck me was that they look like a bird that someone has painted - as the colours are SO defined - rather than the "natural" smudgy colours of most of our birds.

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  2. Once the baby herons are hatched they make a sound like castanets! Presumably clacking their beaks.

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