Monday, 31 May 2010

Derbyshire Heronry

Regular readers of this blog will know that of all the wildlife I encounter, there is one species that I have a special admiration for...The Grey Heron.

So when I was invited to visit a Herony at a location in the High Peak area of Derbyshire, I didn't have to think twice!
In fact I had made some provisional plans for today, but they were put on hold when this chance arrived.

This particular Heronry is beside a fairly remote reservoir with a backdrop of rolling hills and not too far from a river and canal network...A perfect spot for these birds to rear their young.
Although the reservoir was very low and there was plenty of 'beach' and what looked to be good crossing points over small channels, there was an almost quicksand-like mud, so we decided the best and safest option would be to walk through a wooded area around the waters edge to gain close views of the birds.

There was some early morning sunshine on arrival and at first glance the first nest we approached appeared empty...

After about 10 minutes, we might have been forgiven for leaving and assuming the nest was indeed vacant, that is if we hadn't of heard the loud calls of the youngsters from the other side of the water a little earlier.

We stood quietly and waited and pretty soon a young head popped up out of the nest...

This was quickly followed by a second head...

These two young birds, kept understandably quiet while we were around and when we saw an adult Heron circling the area, we decided to move on and give the birds chance to get a feed.

A little further on from this nest, there was another with a slightly older youngster in it who was keeping his eyes firmly on us...

He wasn't the only one keeping a watchful eye, because a couple of trees further down, an adult was also keeping us and her youngster firmly in sight.

It is very important when photographing birds near nest sites is to do it as quickly as possible and without any disturbance.
I also like to keep as far away as possible and use my longest lens.
Although I could have stayed all day and watched these magnificent birds, the actual time spent in their presence was only a few short minutes and because this particular site was in a rather exposed location with very little cover it was only fair to let them go about their business without the risk of causing them any distress.

Special thanks to Margaret, Brian and Dave for their help and hospitality.

1 comment:

  1. Great encounter :)
    Thanks for this nice pics !