Friday, 14 May 2010

Black-crowned Night Heron, Asprokremnos pool, Cyprus

May 8, 2010:
As the weather was now very hot, many birds had taken shelter during the middle part of the day so that any shady tree-lined pools gave the best chance of a sighting. The small waterbody at Asprokremnos is only about 40 metres in diameter but has good tree cover around the margins. Following a careful approach, a juvenile Black-crested Night Heron could be seen perched high on a branch at the pool’s edge.

It possessed the characteristic hunched body posture typical of a heron and had strikingly bright yellow legs and an orange eye. It remained virtually motionless on its branch for long periods just occasionally turning its head and appeared to be in an almost trance-like state.

It was joined by a Squacco Heron on the same branch and later descended to the pool’s edge to take up a new position in a shady recess in the reed-bed.

In comparison to the Squacco, it was a much larger bird. Night Herons, as the name implies, are relatively inactive during daytime and this one certainly justified its name. A Cetti’s Warbler called frequently but as usual remained undetected in the undergrowth.

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