SJ8390 : Grey Heron, Northenden Weir

taken 6 years ago, near to Gatley, Manchester, Great Britain

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

The heron is one symbol of the improvement to the river's water quality (and hence fish stocks) 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 became virtually extinct. It is only in recently decades that fish have been once again been able to survive in the river.

Of course the presence of the heron could also symbolise the decline of 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
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SJ8390, 83 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  Suburb, Urban fringe  Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
River (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8321 9032 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:24.5654N 2:15.2423W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8319 9034
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Other Tags
River  Weir  Grey Heron  Northenden Riverside Park  Bird 

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