Natures most accomplished fisherman, the grey heron is known for it’s motionless stance at the water’s edge. Heron’s are adaptable birds and will feed in any water be it fresh, salt, clear or muddy, so long as it will yield a catch. The grey heron is the only member of the heron family to be found in Britain.
The kingfisher is usually glimpsed as a sudden flash of glistening blue. This colourful bird is a splendid sight but even dedicated bird-spotters can fail to catch sight of this active predator at rest. Kingfishers travel at lightening speeds , catch several fish per day, raise up to 3 broods every season and fiercely defend their territory at all times.
The tree sparrow has a chestnut brown head, and white cheeks and collar with a contrasting black cheek-spot. Male and female have the same markings. They are 14cm in size. Juvenile birds are similar in appearance to the adults but are duller in colour and have dark rather than white cheeks. They still have the warm red-brown head. They are shyer than house sparrows in the UK and are more of a country bird, usually living on farmland, hedgerows, orchards and waterways. Chicks are born between mid-April and August and are fed on insects caught from ponds, streams and loughs.
Dragonflies are brightly coloured creatures with long and thick bodies with 4 broad wings and 2 large eyes. The dragonfly spends most of it’s life as larvae, spending 1-3 years underwater. Flying adults have a relatively short life span. In the U.K. adults rarely live for more than a few weeks.
Lakes, rivers and rocky or coastal areas are the otter’s natural habitats and they can also be spotted hunting their prey in quiet stretches of the canal. However otters are timid and not often observed by humans.
The red fox is an intelligent and adaptable species that can be found by fast-flowing rivers. However, the gradual loss of their natural woodland territory has forced the fox further into our urban environments. You are unlikely to see or hear a fox as they are nocturnal by nature, very quiet, very careful and extremely adept hunters and scavengers.