Herons in Hyde Park
Walking through Hyde Park yesterday evening I came across these fine fellows. Standing stock still like stone statues. Oddly placed in the formal flower beds, it was hard to tell if they were real or not until, after several moments of standing completely motionless, one of them suddenly raised its long neck and took flight. What a graceful sight to behold - and what an impressive wing-span!
The Grey Heron (Ardea Cinerea) is the largest bird in Europe and a migratory bird here in Britain, which made it all the more of a delight to see them. They were completely oblivious to the curious onlookers they attracted and the noisy traffic hurtling along South Carriage Drive.
Apparently they stand still in order to stalk their prey but as they feed only on fish (and there were none to be found in the gardens!) I presume they must have already caught their supper in the nearby Serpentine lake and were gathering together to settle in for the night (unless, being as they were only two minutes away from, and all facing, Knightsbridge, who knows? Perhaps they had set their beady sights firmly on raiding the fabulous fresh fish counters in the nearby Harrods Food Hall!)
You can find out more about these wonderful birds (and hear their 'song') by visiting this excellent site:
I feel a painting coming on........