West Hythe. Kent. January 2009.

Black Crowned Night Heron
My dad and i travelled to West Hythe to connect with the Black crowned night heron at the same site as the green heron not so long ago. On arrival it was showing well on the rocks just away from the dam. It was feeding in the small pools amongst the rocks and was seen to catch one fair sized fish.

It gave great views and seemed totally oblivious to us. The plumage had a lovely contrast of dark and light blue and a pale cream colouring on the white parts, and the eye just stood out like a jewel. It was sharing the stretch with a female kingfisher which showed well along with 2 little grebes busily feeding on small fish.

Most unwanted though was the presence of 1 maybe 2 mink, which were using the rocky pools in the same manner as the heron. They were prolific in catching fish and on one occasion came right up infront of the heron causing it to take flight, i suppose the only reason they werent making a play for the heron was because of the abundance of fish there. Still a concern none the less.

It was a delight to photograph this lovely little heron, and try to get some reflection images which took some waiting for, after some time it flew from the rocks to the tree lined river behind us and proceeded to fluff itself up and go to sleep. This was only the second black crowned night heron for me and first for my dad, and the first time to get some photographs too.