Thursday, 23 June 2011

Black-crowned Night Heron in the Brenne

Perched in a dead tree.
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax are reasonably common in the Brenne. Not being a terribly dedicated birder, I'm not sure how lucky we were to see one at the Etang de la Mer Rouge, but it was certainly very nice to get the close up views that we did.

Studiously ignoring the birdwatchers.
On our recent post-lunch stroll in the Brenne with Ken and CHM we encountered two French birdwatchers, a young man and his grandmother, who were clearly absorbed in watching and photographing something interesting. As we came up to them we asked what they were looking at, and they pointed out the bihoreau, sitting in a dead tree on the other side of a small étang and offered us a look through their telescope. After a few minutes it flapped across the étang to our side and waded nonchalantly through the shallows and vegetation, right under our noses. It must have been perfectly aware that we were there.

Here you can see its lovely fine breast feathers.
The Brenne is heron heaven, with about 10 species of egrets, herons, night herons and bitterns living and breeding. There is a very large heronry in the secret submarine communications base that you can't see for miles around - it's an ideal location, undisturbed and totally protected.

Later, our night heron flew off over the Mer Rouge.



AleR said...

Great article!

Pollygarter said...

Lovely bird! Lucky you!

Tim said...

Hmmmmph! Pouts, sticks out tongue and goes "Blurrrrt!" rather soggily.... that's me, not the bird.
I agree wi't'wife... your [and Ken's] shots of such a lovely beast capture it well.
As for the secret heronry... at least the inhabitants who are on duty are kept awake by the noise. And I wonder just how far away you have to be NOT to see those aerial carriers with their flashing lights and red and white paint job?
We've got the IGN air photodiscs for the local areas... the exact outline is carefully etched out.... so over to Google Earth and there is every last detail! As is the etched out area at Tours Airport... security, who needs it with that little Google plane buzzing around for you?

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