The Grey Heron – capable fish catcher. Part 1

Frequent fishers

I have posted before about the Grey Herons that we regularly see on our local waterways. We never tire of seeing these big birds, and realistically Herons are probably the biggest birds that most of us in England will get to see on a regular basis.

It’s only recently that we have been able to witness the Herons catching and plucking fish from the canal.

This week I have been captivated by the sight of them doing this, so much so that I have walked the best part of three miles each day down to a part of the canal that seems to have been a rich feeding ground for them over the last few days.  This post – the first in a short series that visually documents the feeding exploits of our local Grey Herons.

Although the Grey Heron dines on fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and small mammals, this series of posts only captures the fish aspect of their diet.

The blink of an eye

The herons are without doubt patient. On occasions, they can spend an absolute age on the bank, or in the water with virtually no movement at all, not a flicker – just stood there motionless watching and waiting for their next meal to arrive.

I have to assume that their ability to identify the next meal must be a combination of visual ability and a keen sense of movement – because when the moment comes to pluck the fish from the water it’s near-instant, is unerring, and is done within the blink of an eye.

From standing, watching and waiting and looking like they are happy to let the world pass them by,  the Heron typically seems to come to life in slow motion, often starting with slow stretching and extension of the neck seeking out with remarkable precision just where to strike the water.

Check out my camera gear post here and check out more pictures in Part Two

Picture gallery

Enjoy the pictures below by clicking on any of the pictures below will open a gallery to scroll through

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