I’m still a fan of nature

On Thursday morning on my walk through Robert’s Park I learnt something about Crows.

Crow and black tongue

I knew that they were black but I didn’t know that they also had black tongues. I have also learnt a bit more about Herons, but more on that later, at the moment we are still on Thursday.

On Thursday evening I went down to Tong Park Dam.

Mating Tortoise Shell Butterfly

and one of the first things I saw was this pair of Tortoise Shell butterfly and I had only just got past the war memorial. I then spent a while watching a Heron and a pair of Swans but I am not linking to any photos here. Fortunately I had my full camera backpack with me that contains one of the essentials – an insect repellent, so I could sit quietly and watch.

Heron face on

The photo above is one I took ages ago but I am using it to show how thin a Heron’s neck is. Look at the width of its head. So thin it almost disappears when it looks at you.

I have watched them catching fish and they seem to be able to do it quite quickly.

Tiddlers

This is a view of the canal in the warm weather we have had this week. The fish have been much more visible. It’s not easy to see them in this particular photo, but I think it shows that there are plenty of them. No wonder Heron can often be seen along the canal.

Ones worth catching

Even decent sized fish have been showing themselves.

But I am sure you are asking, how can a Heron with such a thin head and “face” cope with anything but the smallest of fish?

Heron

This one is quite small and easy to cope with.

Heron

But look how far back its beak hinges open when it is tossing it back. It’s way past its eyes. Where is its brain? It makes me think of Mr. Weasley’s warning “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” Its neck seems to have expanded even before it has swallowed the fish.

Heron

And then look at that gape. Where did that come from? We saw in the earlier photo that its head is only 2 cm wide so how did it get a gape that wide? Having seen this I’m not sure I like Herons as much as I used to. They are weird. And have you seen them when they spread their wings? They are like a grey tennis ball with two long skinny legs dangling at the bottom, a skinny long neck sticking out the top and 2 massive wings sprouting from the sides.

Heron

but they still look rather cute when they are curled up.

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