SJ8390 : Grey Heron at Northenden Weir

near to Gatley, Manchester, Great Britain

Grey Heron at Northenden Weir
Grey Heron at Northenden Weir
A grey heron standing near the bottom of the weir at Northenden. (It can be seen in SJ8390 : River Mersey Weir, Northenden).

The heron is a symbol of the improvement to the river's water quality since the 1980s. During the nineteenth century, the increase in industry along the banks of the Mersey caused it to become one of the most polluted rivers in Europe and wildlife was virtually wiped out. It is only relatively recently that fish have been once again been able to survive in the river. Of course the heron's presence could also symbolise the decline of the local industry.

LinkExternal link for more photos of this heron
Grey Heron
The grey heron (Ardea cinerea) is a large bird, standing up to a metre in height and with a wingspan of up to two metres. They are very distinctive in appearance; tall, long-legged predatory wading birds with a long, sharp, pointed beak and grey, black and white feathering. They can stand with their neck stretched out, looking for food, or hunched down with their neck bent over their chest. Sometimes, grey herons circle high up into the sky and can be mistaken for large birds of prey.

Grey herons are wetland birds resident throughout the UK around any kind of water; garden ponds, marshes, lakes, rivers and even on estuaries. They can be spotted at any time of year as UK grey herons do not migrate.

Herons feed mainly on fish, amphibians, small mammals and insects which are taken in shallow water with the heron's long bill. They have also been observed catching and killing juvenile birds such as ducklings, and small mammals like voles. After harvesting, grey herons can sometimes be seen in fields, looking for rodents.

LinkExternal link RSPB
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
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SJ8390, 77 images   (more nearby )
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Image classification?
Supplemental image
Date Taken
Tuesday, 27 September, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 29 September, 2011
Geographical Context
Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
River (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8321 9032 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:24.5654N 2:15.2423W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8320 9031
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
River  Weir  Grey Heron  Northenden Riverside Park  Bird 

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