Photo of the Week! Entry 4

Heron at nest

A grey heron at the nest. The resemblance to a dinosaur is clear!

The local reserve is a haven for herons! I sometimes go fishing there in the summer so I know the fish are plentiful, and the number of herons that are supported by the the place is very high indeed.

Each breeding season, which can start in around February if it’s mild, these really quite large birds can be seen building enormous nests in trees, where they look quite out of place!

This nest was one I had seen a few days before, and came back to to see if I could catch the parent heron landing. I love this image because it captures some great behaviour, the heron communicating to its young before it can feed them. The bird just looks so reptilian with its mouth open and wings spread, it’s quite easy to see the link to prehistoric times.

I chose a square crop for the image in editing because the background was pretty much the same all round, and I wanted to make the heron and its nest the key focus. This is less an artistic image and more one that documents a natural behaviour, so I feel the crop works well. If I were to do anything to make this image better, I would have done more when editing, maybe using a brush to increase the temperature of the heron and nest, and perhaps use a graduated filter to soften the leaves more to really focus on the heron, but to be honest, I think the novelty of what the heron is doing is interesting enough to attract the viewer without lots of editing.

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