Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 142 - Grey Heron

When I was a kid the English countryside was going through what has come to be called The Locust Years.  While applied especially to Ancient Woodlands, the locusts of development were eating their way through natural habitats at an alarming rate.  Woodlands, old pasture, hedgerows and wetlands were all disappearing.  And of course the plants and animals that depended on them were disappearing too.

During that time seeing any large predator was a bit of a thrill, especially to somebody living in the rather genteel backwards of Somerset.  I think this is why I have such a fondness for Grey Herons.  Although not rare in any sense of the word, seeing one (or more) was always a good thing.  It was often a highlight.  Today, their populations have recovered somewhat (thankfully), but I was still pleased to see some when I was back in the UK last year.




These picture were taken at Leighton Moss, an RSPB reserve in the NW of England - and also one of my favourite reserves.  I used to drop in their on the way home from work in Preston - but that was last century.

Now its turn for a 21st Century activity - WBW!  Click on the blue button below and off you go!

39 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i like how your herons are just a bit lighter than our great blues, here. love these pterodactyls. :)

Sylvia K said...

Wonderful captures of a beautiful bird!! Always enjoy seeing them on your blog!! Thanks for sharing, Stewart, as always!!

Sharon Wagner said...

Our great blue herons are common but always fun to see. Glad yours are making a come back.

Mama Zen said...

So beautiful!

eileeninmd said...

I love the herons too! They are so beautiful. Great shots! Thank you for hosting WBW. Have a great week ahead!

Jo said...

Lovely to see the same birds as we see here and saw in Tanzania. They're such still birds and always make good photo ops. I'll link to your post tomorrow (Wednesday) Greetings Jo

Linda M. Carmean said...

Glad the grey herons are making a come-back! Beautiful photos!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

gorgeous creatures :)

Linda W. said...

Nice heron photos!

Andrea Priebe said...

I have a pair of Great Blue Herons that , though I have never been able to find where they nest, fly by my house every morning and back every eveing after a day of fishing in the channel. They often stop and poop on my neighbors boat lift cover then go on as if there was nothing to be concerned about. Fortunately my neighbors love them too so they just get out the hose and clean it up. They have their moments of grace, but are mostly awkward and gawky. As for fishing, they are awesome spear fisherman ... none better. I assume yours are the same, though a bit lighter and possibly smaller. Love your pictures, Stewart :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Margaret Adamson said...

Beautiful sereis of Heronshots Stewart and thanks for hosting.

A Quiet Corner said...

Stewart, the first time I saw one, it had it's back to me and head down. Peering through the brush, it looked like the shoulders of a man!!! I have loved them ever since...great shots!!...:)JP

Anni said...

It's beautiful!!

EG CameraGirl said...

Sadly, humans don't seem to learn from other area's experiences. Greed is very powerful in the Greater Toronto Area, I'm afraid. Luckily a few groups have been wise enough to purchase land that developers cannot get their hands on!

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful shots, Stewart. The Grey Herons are fine-looking birds.

Carletta said...

The heron looks like it was just wading around for you.
Really nice shots!

Brian King said...

Herons are one of my favorites and this one looks a lot like our Great Blue. Nice shots!

Missy George said...

I don't know that I've ever seen a grey Heron..We have a lot of Blues...Wonderful pictures..You never disappoint..We had a very bad locust infestation many years ago..Entire hillsides of trees were stripped bare.."The seven year Locust"..

DeniseinVA said...

Your photos of the heron are outstanding Stewart and I am so glad to hear they have recovered in numbers.

Jibber JabberUK said...

I live near a (man made)country park so I see herons quite often. My neighbour doesn't like them though as he keeps koi carp and the herons see them as an easy meal!

Chris Rohrer said...

Very nice story about what was happening in the UK. It still sounds like they are doing this around their area. Badger culls etc. Herons are like dinosaurs!

mick said...

Beautiful birds and hopefully we have all learned to be more careful of out environment!

Small City Scenes said...

I like Herons too. I have seen a Green and of course the Great blue---lots of them here bu I have never seen a grey. Nice shots.
MB

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Beautiful series...

Irma said...

Beautiful series of images of the blue herons.
Perfect photographed Stewart.

Adam Jones said...

I love watching the Heron. As common as they are here now, I still find myself quite fascinated by them.

Mary Hone said...

Such a handsome bird. I love to watch them creep along.

DougPhoto2009 said...

GBH make for the best photos because they do not move. Thanks for sharing.

Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...

Always heart warming to see these guys. Of course ours is called Great Blue Heron. Gorgeous photos, love the reflections. Thanks for hosting this every Wednesday!

Lea said...

Beautiful photos! Your Grey Heron must be a close cousin to the Great Blue Heron we have here in the US.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Our similar Great Blue Heron is also common, but I never miss a chance to photograph one. Its "prehistoric" appearance is impressive, and it contorts itself into an unlimited variety of shapes.

Linda said...

Beautiful bird! We see great blue herons fairly often and each time I feel a sense of awe.

pattisjarrett said...

What a pretty gray heron you have here. It's good news when endangered creatures numbers increase.

ladyfi said...

Lovely shot of the heron!

Wally Jones said...

Our experiences are quite similar, Stewart. I grew up in central Florida and always had Great Blue Herons as fishing companions. I left the area for 20+ years and upon returning was saddened to see the results of our own "locusts of destruction". Fortunately, the large blue fisherman has adapted.

Brilliant photographs!

Have great weekend - Wally

Montanagirl said...

Oh, I love seeing your Heron photos! I saw one over the weekend (Great Blue Heron), but it was a long ways off. I took a couple record shots - not worth sharing.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It looks very like our Great Blue, which is more often greyish. I wonder how the size compares. In any case they are beautiful birds and I would never tire of seeing them (as I never tire of seeing 'ours').

Hannah said...

I've mostly just seen Great Blue Herons, so It is great to see the Grey Heron, it looks big, I imagine it could eat a few locusts. I like the eye stripes. I made all the abundant grasshoppers in my lawn disappear after a couple of years of hunting them to feed to my chickens.

Booth 555 said...

Great photos against the dark sky.
I don't think I've seen any around here, but then again, I'm not great with remembering any kind.
-Lisa