Primal poetry in motion.
Herons – my favourite birds on the Cut. So often on our linear water road we see them as solitary grey stalkers who, with one beat of their wings, can lift into the air and wheel ahead of the boat to settle perhaps 50 metres ahead. Erect, unruffled, they’re poised assassins with something of pre-historyabout them.

And yet to think of them as solitary birds is, in many ways misleading, as the following couple of photos showing a seige or sedge of herons demonstrate. The photos were taken close to Heron Island located in Regents Park, in the heart of London. It’s been famous for it’s colony of herons for generations.

The original heronry was almost destroyed in the 1980’s by a combination of Dutch Elm disease, and the Michael Fish Great Storm that shattered a remaining chestnut tree on the island too.

However, the colony survived and relocated to a nearby island where it thrives still.

There’s at least five herons in this ‘seige’… it’s rarer to see them congregating like this outside the heronry and on the ground…
Still, and unruffled by the array of snapping tourists and clicking cameras only metres away…
Adult males bill turns pink in the breeding season, whilst females tend to remain yellowish…

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