January 27th 2014

Early morning visit from Grey Heron

Early morning visit from Grey Heron

Only just enough light to catch this Grey Heron– they  stripped ours and next doors ponds of fish, years ago, but come occasionally for frogs and newts. Herons will also eat small birds and mammals. In the 16th and 17th centuries they were hunted as a sport using Peregrine Falcons! This ancient-looking bird nests in colonies high in trees and returns year after year, from January on, building their nests up with new sticks. The oldest known continual heronry is in Kent and dates from at least 1293. There’s a good one on the lake at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. They have a great collective noun too- a siege of Herons! Once, a friend donated a plastic heron, hoping to deter a real heron from poaching the fish. It failed!

Pretend and real Heron stake out the pond

Pretend and real Heron stake out the pond

Conditions: A very still, mostly dry, cool day. Temperature: Max 6 – Min 3c

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