Night Heron

I had read on the ANR website that a Night Heron had been spotted on the reserve. I had not expected to see it but the buzz when I arrived after lunch today was that it was still around. It was asleep for much of the time and obscured by stray branches when awake but I managed to get some half reasonable shots. Note the long plumes used in courtship display.This bird is way out of its normal range though Googling ‘night heron’ revealed that one had been spotted recently in Bournemouth. Perhaps this the same one?


In Europe the full name is ‘black-crowned night heron’ which nicely links in with my other spot of the day – a blackcap. This is a male. I did see a female which has a rust coloured cap. I’ll post a picture when I get a better one.


I am very happy to share my photographs and observations in this blog, which has been going for not much more than a couple of months. Already I have had views from Canada and Portugal as well as the UK of course.
If you are interested in equipment and technique …. my camera is a CanonSX50 HD and the significant feature is its 50x zoom lens. I don’t use a tripod in the field but I try and steady myself against something solid if available. More often than not I use the camera on its auto setting but if the light is extremely bright or dark then the’M’ (manual) setting allows me to adjust the exposure for a clearer picture on the WYSIWYG principle. For a close-up I might use the macro setting but if the subject is likely to fly away (like a butterfly) I just zoom in. Today I followed the crowd to see the the night heron and I have some ‘likely spots’ bearing in mind the time of day (ie the direction of the light) to take photographs but generally I just keep my eyes and ears open.


  1. David · April 26, 2015

    thanks BirdMan, I was thinking about asking re equipment and technique. I suppose it is ‘practice makes perfect’


  2. Enid Parker · April 27, 2015

    Thanks Ray. I don’t know why but i expected the heron to live on the ground and was surprised to see it up a tree. Well done. Enid


    • beestonbirdman · April 27, 2015

      Like other herons they seem to roost (and probably nest) in trees. Perhaps they prefer to keep their feet dry except when hunting. This reminds me of the squacco heron we had on the reserve a couple of years ago. Perhaps they share the same satnav!


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