Heron of Bramley Bank

I was privileged recently to see the Heron fishing at his home in the largest natural woodland pond in Croydon, at Bramley bank. The elusive heron is quite shy unlike his more gregarious cousin at Waddon Ponds.

When I caught up with the heron it was intent at fishing for his supper and did not mind my presence which usually induces a mad flurry of wings and a swift exit. The heron adopts two approaches to hunting , either standing still and quiet in the water waiting for a fish to swim past nearby or by moving around the pond snatching a fish at close quarters.

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The heron adopted both tactics as you can see from the photographs. Whatever approach is used the sixth vertebra in a herons neck is longer than the others and pivots over to the seventh vertebra to permit a fast strike when food comes into range.

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Heron arrives at his second destination, Heathfield

The heron finally became aware of my presence and flew the short distance from Bramley bank to a nearby pond at Heathfield. Hotfooting it, me not the heron, I caught up with the heron  while he was in the water, but again not much luck in catching any fish. Shortly afterwards he was spotted flying back to Bramley bank, although yours truly was too exhausted to mount any further catch ups that evening!

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Heron flies home to Bramley Bank. Their wingspan can measure between 150 and 200cm.

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