Herons arrive back at Northampton park

The herons are dancing again - spring must be on its way.
The herons are dancing again - spring must be on its way.

Birdwatchers and dog walkers have been delighted to see a pair of breeding herons make their home in Northampton again.

The two birds were last seen in October 2017 when they departed their Abington Park nest - on an island in the lake nearest Bridgewater Drive - having successfully raised three chicks.

Pictured in April 2017, one of the parent herons with two of last year's three chicks.

Pictured in April 2017, one of the parent herons with two of last year's three chicks.

Albeit without their offspring, the love birds have been spotted again this week and have built a nest high in a tree, this time on the central island of the main lake and the smart money is on a repeat of last year's happy news.

Amateur photographer Harvey Fruish, who has followed their progress keenly, said: "They were doing a bit of a dance with each other, if you know what I mean. It's great to see them back and apparently quite unusual to see a nest in such a high position."

Herons are a pleasing sight against the Northampton skyline, with their slow, majestic wing flaps and dangling legs (or hunched look when sat watchfully on a branch) and they are one of the most popular subjects of wildlife photographs submitted to the Chron. However they are known for snatching their fair share of fish.

Anne Stevens, secretary of the Friends of Abington Park, said: "It's not brilliant news if you're a fish or a poor old angler but it's lovely for everyone else.

"What it proves is that the water is clean and healthy and being oxygenated properly and providing food for the herons. We discourage people from throwing bread in the water because the mould upsets the ecosystem. It's good to see that paying off.

"Park users will be excited to see a breeding pair."