Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Arthur a heron in Galway

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?


Bird Lover said...

The selective feeding and taming of wild birds certainly happens here on the river (to the birds detriment) so I've no doubt a heron could be roped into that regime.

However, I suspect that this would lead to conflict as it is a predatory bird that is happy to eat ducklings and cygnets which would displease certain folk who currently feed and try and manage Nairn's wild aquatic birds

Anonymous said...

I'm with bird lover. I like looking at wild things but not ones that have been tamed to eat out of your hand

Don't Domesticate The Wildlife said...

Let nature be!

The Nairn Birder said...

Here's hoping the Nairn Herons stay wild....and safe! It's much more fun for us to observe them doing their own thing. I observed one hunting (and failing to catch)a juv. Dipper in the spring. The story and pics can be seen on my blog (link from The Gurn)

The Nairn Birder said...

Hi Graisg - how do you get you blog to email you when a comment is left? Great photo by the way! Very crisp, and beautifully framed.

Graisg said...


Settings - Comments - comment moderation a wee bittie down the page. A choice of settings for comments and put your e-mail in too for notification.

Arthur flew across the road yes, perhaps he looked right and left first? Anyway it was a quiet road but there were cars parked all the way along and he went up to the wifie behind one of the cars. But obviously this brings into question the creature's safety out of its own environment.