Thursday, 18 August 2016

Herons grey and white

I've mentioned the grey herons living in Jeziorki before, and noted the appearance this season of a black stork. But a white heron (or great egret) I've never seen in my life. Below: first off, the regular grey heron, of whom there are a couple of pairs nesting in Jeziorki. They are shy and tend to take off when they spot a human across on the other side of the pond. Note its neck in the third photo, fully retracted. Click to enlarge.

The great egret (below) has quite different plumage. It's less well camouflaged. Yet look at the neck - like a grey heron, the great egret bends it in flight into an 'S' shape. Great egrets are rare outside of south-east Poland, the north-westernmost extent of their breeding range, which extends from the Balkans, via Turkey, Ukraine, Iran and Mongolia, right across northern China to the Pacific. So very good to see one here!

Below: bonus pic - our two swans and their six cygnets are doing well. The young ones won't learn to fly until the late autumn.

In the meantime, the storks are heading off south, leaving their Polish nests and breeding grounds. Below: photo taken two months ago, storks' nest, near Lublin. Birds like herons and storks that have their nests above the ground learn to fly sooner than those, like swans, who nest at ground level. But then swans can live up to 20 years, herons and storks a mere five.

This time four years ago:
A return to Dobra

This time six years ago:
Kebab factory discovered under Dworzec Centralny

This time seven years ago:
The tail-end of communism - photos you would not believe today!

This time nine years ago:
By bike to Czachówek again


Anonymous said...

Last weekend I saw - mentioned - the grey heron and the cygnets... but still there is very little water in our lake!

Michael Dembinski said...


August used to be the second-wettest month of the year after July - our summers are becoming hotter and drier. This may adversely affect our local ecosystems.