The rapacious stillness of the heron*

Herons seem to be a part of our lives.  It’s a rare week when we don’t spot one flying languidly along the river, or waiting on an exposed rock for the next snack.

Wherever we travel, we can go heron spotting.   We’ve seen them in Dordrecht in the Netherlands, Córdoba in southern Spain, l’Albufera near Valencia, and Busan in South Korea.  Town and country: herons are there.

We see them as we walk along the path towards West Tanfield, and spot them on the garden pond.

The other day after a stressful week, I needed a bit of space.  Nosterfield Nature Reserve just up the road was the answer.  I walked along the wetland paths watching water birds courting, feeding, simply being there, standing motionless or swimming peacefully.  Quiet fields formed the backdrop.

Nosterfield Nature Reserve, spotted through a hide.

I went to the farthest hide.  I became transfixed by the under-stated drama being played out between a heron and two or three egrets.  They were fishing.  All plodded gracefully in and out of what humans might see as each other’s personal space.  They didn’t care or even seem to notice one another. They simply co-existed, fishing.

This is what first caught my eye….and then I zoomed in closer…..

This series of pictures might not seem that different one from another.  They’re a record of a simple afternoon in the lives of a heron, three egrets ….. and me.

Click on any image to view full size.

* The Crow Road: Iain Banks

 

Snapshot Saturday: a pond and a hungry heron

In the garden is a pond.  And in the pond there are some fish.  We live near the River Ure.  So near our home, some hungry herons live….

Back at Christmas time, William and family gave us a trail camera, wildlife-filming-for-the-use-of, mainly at night. This week, we decided to site it  near the pond, to see if a Hungry Heron would visit.  One did …..

The camera is still set to GMT. He really visited at 03.57.

This post is in response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt.  Let’s let them introduce themselves: RDP was started by a ragtag collection of bloggers who weren’t ready to give up on the Daily Prompt when Word Press was. So, seven of us agreed to provide a prompt once a week, and we began on June 1, 2018.’ Good luck, Ragtag!  This is the kind of party I’d like to join.

Snapshot Saturday: waiting for a fish dinner

Waiting.  That’s what herons do.  Ever patient, they stand in the shallows, or on a handy rock: maybe even in the low branches of a sturdy riverside tree.  Immobile unless frightened by the sight of a human passing too nearby, they’ll stand and stand until suddenly …..stab! That long spear of a beak plunges down and secures a fish dinner.

Here’s one we spotted on the River Wharfe near Grassington a few months ago.

A heron fishing on the River Wharfe.

This second photo is a bit out of focus, but I like it anyway. I took it only about a fortnight ago, walking along the River Skell one evening.  The heron cocked his head and regarded us with some interest.  He didn’t fly away, but looked at us looking at him.  That’s quite unusual.  In the end he flew off, empty-beaked.  Perhaps he hadn’t picked a good spot.

Heron on the River Skell.

 

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is ‘waiting’.  Apparently there is no challenge next week, so …don’t watch this space.