Having taken 16 acres of redundant farmland, and turned it in to a nature reserve, it is no surprise that much "wild" wildlife has decided to make this area of the BWC it's home. We have a vast amount of reptile and amphibian life out there, a small roe deer family that have made it their home, an abundance of other mammals in the adjacent woodland... but it is the bird life that has seemed to really colonise the area.
Most obvious of these are of course the herons. Even before the reserve was built, they used to visit to pick up the left over scraps of fish we fed to the otters. But since the completion of the reserve over five years ago, they have also chosen it as a place to roost.
These, almost awkward, looking birds often look out of place at the top of a thin tree. And when we have 20 or so of them soaring over you in the sky as we take some fish down, it is not unlike a scene you would imagine from the prehistoric era. But when the gently settle on the branches, or slowly glide to the ground you get just a glimpse in to their beauty and grace.
Herons always seem to lay their eggs quite early in the year, and despite this seasons weather, it has been no exception. In fact, I think our herons have laid earlier than usual! Already we have a few fledglings that are beginning to stretch their wings, and even one or two that have made it to the ground.
The others can still be seen on the odd occasion that they pop their head out of the nest, and if you can't see them... boy, can you hear them! They make a right clattering racket while they are calling for mum and dad to bring them more food.
Next time you are here, do make time just to spend a while down on our wetland boardwalk. If you wait till later in the day in particular, you will get a chance to see these extraordinary birds in action as they feed, collect fish for the youngsters or fend each other off in minor squabbles.