This observer has always been impressed with the local herons. They are one of the few birds left on the River Nairn that don’t queue up for mankind’s offerings and seem to be content to get on with the job of working for a living. It was interesting, but also disheartening in a way, to come across Arthur the Galway Heron during a trip to the West Coast of Ireland earlier this month. There seemed to be around 60 swans, umpteen ducks and plenty of seagulls in the harbour area. There was a woman feeding all the birds, all or nothing it seems and no signs telling you which birds shouldn’t be fed. I noticed a heron on the harbour wall which was content to stand a lot closer to humanity than its Celtic cousins in Nairn would do (picture will enlarge). The bird was more than happy to pose for a photograph. A woman coming out of a nearby house saw me taking pictures of the bird and she told me:
“The heron’s name is Arthur and I feed him every day.” She shouted Arthur over and with a couple of flaps of his wings he crossed the road to see his provider in the hope of another hand-out. Could it happen here?