Western Isles
 Western Isles of Scotland

 

Resources
Recent bird sightings
Bird Photographs
Notes: A - Z Index
Notes: Taxonomic Index
Outer Hebrides Checklist
Useful contacts
Archived Sightings
Wildlife Garden
Bird ringing in Lewis

Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Grey Heron

Hebrides bird sightings - Grey Heron
2nd winter Grey Heron

Grey Heron

(Harnser, Old Frank, Johnny Crane, Hegri, Haigrie, Heronshaw, Norry-the-bogs, Julie-the-bogs, Common Heron, European Blue Heron, European Heron, Gray Heron, Heron, Mauritanian Heron)

Ardea cinerea

Gaelic: Corra-ghritheach

Photograph © Debbie Bozkurt
Bayhead -Stornoway - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
14th September, 2006

 

Our Grey Heron photographs

Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
2nd winter
Grey Heron
2nd winter
with fish
Grey Heron
2nd winter
take-off
Grey Heron
flight
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
 
Grey Heron
adult
typical nest site
Grey Heron
adult
typical nest site
 

 

 

  • Grey Heron
  • Ardea cinerea
  • Gaelic: Corra-ghritheach
  • UK: Resident Breeder, Winter Visitor. 14,000 nests BTO
  • WI: Fairly common resident breeder (100-999 breeding pairs)
  • Breeding: Generally temperate Europe, Asia, Indonesia, sub-Saharan Africa. Also now common in summer even inside the Arctic circle, including Iceland*, but many birds retreat in winter from the ice. Nests in colonies in trees (or on cliffs) by lakes, sea-shore, reed beds, other wetlands. Bulky stick nest.
  • Diet: Usually stalks food, standing motionless for long periods, usually feeds in shallows, may wade out a little. Prey fish, frogs, small mammals, insects, reptiles. Sometimes fishes by artifical light . An adaptable bird
  • Habitat: Lakes, lochs, reedbeds, marshes, rivers, flooded fields, sea-shore, wetland marshes, gravel pits, reservoirs, estuaries, garden ponds, fish farms
  • Largest European heron (Over 3ft (95cm) tall. Wingspan almost 6'6" (195cm). Mostly slate-grey above, off-white below. Adult - forehead, crown-centre, head-sides white, crown-sides & nape & slender crest black. Juvenile/1st winter dull grey head. Straight, powerful pinkish-yellow bill (brighter in breeding adults).
    Flight slow, laboured, powerful, (long neck retracted) . Broad rounded wings.
    Usually solitary. Several birds may feed close together (as many as 20 birds, collective noun a hedge, sedge or siege of herons)
  • Listen to a Grey Heron (RSPB site) (loud croaking "fraaank")
  • Typical lifespan 5yrs. Max recorded age 23yrs 9mths

 

Grey Heron records in the Western Isles

Fairly common resident breeder (100-999 breeding pairs)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)

 


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Grey Heron is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

 


Grey Heron is resident and a winter visitor to the UK. The BTO Migration Atlas shows a movement from Iceland to the UK outside of the breeding season (it is also mentioned that migrating herons use a flapping flight and can migrate at night ).
I asked Yann I at the Icelandic Birding Pages about the Grey Herons in Iceland.

"We have usually 40-60 wintering Grey Herons around the country (sometimes more). They are however very rare in summer but in recent years we’ve had the occasional oversummering individual".

 

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

Debbie's online photo album


back to page top

Home Contact Webmaster

Copyright © 2010 Western Isles Netspace.  User Agreement and Privacy policy