It’s nesting time for herons in Regent’s Park. London has a surprisingly large population of grey herons, partly because of the lakes in the Royal Parks, and partly because the city is slightly warmer in winter than the surrounding countryside. According to BBC News, there were no herons in London in 1950, and ornithologist James Fisher said it was unlikely that they would ever breed again in London.
Fisher’s pessimism was misplaced. By 1985 there were three heronries in London; by 2000 there were 16; and today there are more than twenty breeding pairs in Regent’s Park alone.
One of the terms used for a group of herons is “a siege of herons”. But sometimes, like all of us, a heron needs to walk away from the siege to get some peace and quiet.
Finally, here is a photo taken on my iPhone in the same park last May. I kept it because I liked the feeling of the bird soaking up the spring sunshine.