If you've never heard a heron speak, imagine a demon or Katy Perry being dragged backwards over a cheese grater and you're probably close. It's the abject opposite of the sound you would expect from such an elegant bird.
A couple of young White Faced Herons (the sole local species) have been flapping around the cliffside cyprus in front of the house for a while now, crahhhhking and harassing their long-suffering parents.
Fledglings are easy to identify: generally, their proportions are a wee bit stumpy, their feathers retain that vaguely downy look, their beaks are shorter and their behaviour is distinctly teenage. Though they're fairly common, this is the first pair of chicks we've noticed in our time here so it's nice to know they're breeding successfully in this urban-ish area.
It's officially Spring down here from Sept. 1, but really we've been in the latter season for at least a month now after a fucking balmy, frost-less winter that seems like several worlds away from the brutal ones we experienced upon arrival in Dunedin 20 years ago. The climates, they are a changing. Thanks Shell, BP et al.