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mike Meehan

Strange Bird?

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Has anybody any idea what this is - it does not look like a native species?

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Has anybody any idea what this is - it does not look like a native species?

It looks like a Heron to me - have you got a fish pond ? It's maybe looking for some food as many lakes will be frozen over !

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Has anybody any idea what this is - it does not look like a native species?

how tall was it, looks like a heron from these photos , do you have any more pics

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Definately a heron. We have had quite a few around here in the past 10 years, more so since the river through our village has had more management and fish stocks have returned.

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Yes, the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea). Widespread and common; very much a native, and of long standing - unlike, say, its similar, smaller relation the all-white Little Egret, which has turned from a rare visitor to a locally common resident in the last twenty years or so.

As MKS says, the frozen water elsewhere may have tempted it into you garden. It eats fish, amphibians (especially frogs), small mammals, worms, large insects - in fact anything living it can stab or grab with its long, sharp bill. Mainly fish for preference, though.

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Yes, the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea). Widespread and common; very much a native, and of long standing - unlike, say, its similar, smaller relation the all-white Little Egret, which has turned from a rare visitor to a locally common resident in the last twenty years or so.

As MKS says, the frozen water elsewhere may have tempted it into you garden. It eats fish, amphibians (especially frogs), small mammals, worms, large insects - in fact anything living it can stab or grab with its long, sharp bill. Mainly fish for preference, though.

I saw a Heron eat a Water vole on the brooke outside my house several years ago,it was the last vole i ever saw there !

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Yep, it's a heron. Just to add to it's long and omniverous diet: My partner whilst out walking her dog, saw one take a rabbit and fly off with it.

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Thanks for your replies, I have looked at photos and can say that it is identical to a grey heron.

Funny enough we do have a pond in the garden but it is currently frozen over. Years ago we used to have fish in it but they kept disappearing as fast as I stocked it so that now it is just a habitat for frogs and newts. At the time I blamed the local cats. We did have one which would site at the edge of the pond and I am sure it was taking the fish, though the herons probably helped as well. As far as I know I have heard of them in the area and they normally nest by the confluents of the River Colne, River Gade and the Grand Union Canal

Must be a hard time for such birds as herons, since there will not be that much clear water around at the moment, though a thaw has set in.

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Herons do love their fish, but they eat all other small creatures like mice and ducklings. Ugly fliers though, in the air they remind me of a dragon or something out of the Ragnarok story.

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Definatley a heron, its probably the same one that tries to eat the fish in my pond!!! dry.gif

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