Saturday, 16 October 2010

Heligan- Lost in the jungle!

Every twitch should have a ‘Plan B’ - the Friday night rule may apply!! This was rigorously applied, by a certain Solitary Sandpiper at Seaton, Devon - deciding to head for the stars overnight! Having set off with Andy L first thing and with no news on the drive down (translated as good news initially), after 45 mins on site, it was clear as the skies the previous evening - a reappearance was unlikely……

Plan B wasn’t entirely to Andy’s liking either but the only other decent bird in the South West was a certain lost Heron in the Lost Gardens of Heligan and having been giving lifers a bit of attention lately, I was well up for it. Two hours later - we were following signs to the ‘lost jungle’!

Machetes were totally unnecessary as we made our way to the ‘top pool’ and a little wooden bridge at one end. There waiting for us – stood motionless in the corner of this little swamp, a cracking first winter Green Heron.....

No it wasn’t a statue, it was most certainly alive as the neck whipped upwards, the dagger like bill striking like a Cobra - grabbing a dragonfly in the blink of an eye (a male Southern Hawker to be precise). The Heron then proceeded to deny a marauding Moorhen a free meal and slowly chewed than swallowed the Hawker……

Over the next 30 minutes, the Heron simply moved around the edge of the pool, occasionally catching small fish or posing in the vegetation. Tricky to get sharp images as the light levels were so low!

An occasional small fish was on the menu.....

Eventually, something spooked it and it flew across the pool like a mini missile, it still wasn’t happy and shot over our heads landing at the top of a large (Rhododendron?) Cue, shutter frenzy as you couldn’t have positioned it in a better position with such a clean background and now, away from the gloom of the pool!

A minute passed and then it shot over our heads, like an arrow with wings, presumably to the lower pool. Never mind, it was job done! I was smiling! Almost as big a smile (of relief) came across Andy’s face – “Does that mean we can go?”

We did…..

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic images of our Green Heron,outstanding photography.
    Best i've seen,congratulations on a fine set of images.