Monday, 31 May 2010

Grey Heron

The river Aire, which runs through Saltaire, has two weirs within the space of about half a mile. One is right beside Saltaire's New Mill; the other is upstream at Hirst Wood. Almost always when I have passed, I have seen a grey heron standing or paddling about in the flow of the weir. I'm not sure if each weir has its own heron, or whether the same bird flies between the two. Either way, it/they are not really scared by human company. They will come quite close to the bank even when I'm standing there, and they only get jumpy if I move quickly. One of the largest birds resident in the UK, they are a common but still spectacular sight. I love to see them fly overhead, when they tuck in their necks and fly with a lazy, floppy wingbeat that is very distinctive. They nest in trees, in large and untidy nests, often in a community or heronry alongside others. I'm not sure whether Saltaire's herons are breeding birds, as I haven't noticed a local nest. But that may be me being unobservant...

8 comments:

  1. Excellent shot; I viewed it large and you have got the eye nice and sharp. Good one.

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  2. Beautiful bird! We have a similar one who has a beat on our nearby river -- I always look for him and have put him into my books as a recurring character.

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  3. Super photograph. Especially nice with the waters fizzing and bubbling at the bird's feet.

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  4. I love herons, too....there are occasionally a few that fly around the nature reserve where I live..often we see them standing on old fallen tree by any of the many lakes around here. Yes, the way they fly is interesting to watch..almost calming...they seemt o be without a care. Great birds!!

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  5. We spotted a heron on the Trent yesterday. He was good enough to stand still while I photographed him, but he was no-where near this close. I think he will appear on my blog soon though.

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  6. Exquisite! Every feathered detail and babble and bauble within the flow of that water. Very nice. ~Lili

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