1 EAGLETON NOTES: Heron

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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Heron

In a comment on my recent post about the goldfish I've introduced to the pond CJ mentioned that a heron was their most likely predator.  Oddly herons are not a bird I can recall seeing very often in the vicinity of Eagleton and I suspect that the pond is so close to the house that it might deter any passing heron.   Certainly if a heron set it's mind on devouring them they would have little chance.  I once saw a heron in Stoke-on-Trent on an island in the middle of a lake.  In full view it grabbed a rat, took it into the lake and drowned it and then proceeded to swallow it whole.  It was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed in nature.  The goldfish would hardly even be hors d'oeuvres.

Oddly as I was walking with David and Molly a heron was down on the shore.  I was fortunate to get a shot of it when it took off.  





19 comments:

  1. A lot of people in NZ have to protect their fish but really not sure what birds take them - seems to be more cats....

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    1. Silly me. I'd not thought of cats. There are a lot around here usually more intent on getting those from my bird table. It's designed with no cover for cats within jumping distance though so they seem to have given up over the last year or two. I hope they don't find the fish a new challenge.

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  2. So, now you need a dog to chase the cats.

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    1. Actually that white cat's been around today - sleekit creature that it is - so you may be right.

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  3. You've done it again; just like with the pictures of the dog running with all four paws in the air at the same time, you caught the heron taking flights. How DO you do it?!
    When I see something like that and think of capturing it on camera, by the time I get the camera out, the moment has usually passed. Maybe that's why I have this thing for old stone walls and doors and doorways... they don't move ;-)

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    1. My camera is glued to my right hand Meike.

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  4. Nature is not for sissies, right? I had no idea that a heron could handle a rat. Yikes!

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    1. Yes Lisa and without too much difficulty. I'm not sure which herons you have in the States. The UK Grey Heron is a lot larger than the Herons in New Zealand for example.

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  5. Magnificent bird. I saw some once at the coast near Varberg (the town I blogged about this week). I have no photographic evidence of it - it was before my digital camera days. But I remember because when I saw them I couldn't figure out what they were. I had forgotten about herons. So they had me puzzled until I got home and could scan through a bird-book...

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    1. Yes, they love coastal areas where they can fish from the shore.

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  6. I love Herons. They are suck wonderful birds. They look so graceful in flight.

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  7. That would be "such" wonderful birds... oh dear!

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    1. They are very graceful, yes, Liz.

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  8. Check this, if you think a rat is big.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eTzYEUW_0g

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    1. At least the one I saw drowned the rat first!

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  9. Thanks for that. I always thought that the one that lives in the inner harbour in Castle Grounds was a blue heron but from your photographs it looks like it is a grey heron. You learn something every day!

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  10. Being near the house won't deter it, I'm afraid. We've had one take a large frog from our pons and you can't get a much more confined area than that. Hopefully the Lewis ones will be less accustomed to finding fish in garden ponds.

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  11. It looks very fine against the colours of your shore. We often see herons in Regents Park, (even I can recognise herons) but I suspect they are "brought in" like the great variety of ducks that can also be seen in the park's lakes.

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  12. The one time I saw a blue heron take flight, I was driving my car and was unable to stop because of traffic. I guess I need to spend more time by the river, but right now the river is so low that the bottom can be seen in many areas. Indiana could use some rain prayers.

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