I’m halfway through my introduction, pushing upstream in the golden light of dawn. I’m listing what I hope to see when Inger exclaims, “There’s one!”.

Standing like a grey gargoyle in the tangle of riverine vegetation, a Great-billed Heron waits for passing fish. Cameras with big lens whirr. The heron remains the focus for the next twenty minutes before Mark advises, “That was worth the early morning alarm already”. That is music to my ears and all pressure dissipates. Shortly afterwards we find a pair of Shining Flycatcher building a nest. Later an Azure Kingfisher becomes the star, sunlight spectacular as it dives for a small shrimp. A steady flow of good sightings followed including a group of rare Spotted Whistling Ducks. A great morning out.


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