The unguarded heron nests have been an invitation for the aggressive Great Egrets to take them over while the adults are away. This can have a catastrophic result for young birds. Many young have been lost this spring.
To view an attack click here.
However here an adult returned back to the nest just as the attack was entering the final stage. It has gone on for over 2 hours and the chicks were tiring. If it had been a single chick the nest would have been lost within an hour.
The Egret had determined a sideways move separated the young and had successfully struck them each at least once.
The adult arrived low over the trees and surprised the Egret. The typical loud croaking yells gave him enough warning to escape.
To be fair the cheers of the group of photographers was louder.
The adult settled in and stood looking around. I get the impression there was no anger or vicious reaction (unlike the Egret). It was something that happens, and now it’s over. The chicks were still pretty excited though.
I had always been under the impression an adult would always stay behind with young. This is obviously not the case. This nest has been attacked several times since these photographs. The chicks are now big enough to deal with it. Others nearby have been lost.
At this time I don’t plan on publishing any of those. The images were taken from too far and it would be publishing something just for the sake of the end result.