Grey heron

The Grey heron is the ultimate stealth hunter. If you have walked near a river or lake you may well have seen the unmistakeable shape of a Grey heron standing as still and quiet as a statue…until quick as a flash it shoots its neck into the water at lightning speed. The heron’s S-shaped neck is a remarkable piece of engineering. Special joints in its spine allow it to flex and extend its neck incredibly fast. Using its dagger-like beak it spears or snatches its prey.

Although they hunt individually, herons nest together in large colonies called heronries. It’s quite possible for there to be well over a hundred nests in one community.

You can often see lots of herons waiting for fish to appear by the foot of Holme Head weir in Denton Holme, Carlisle.