All the Latin names for cool birds were already taken as blog titles. I had to come up with something different. Herons are all called Frank, male and female, as anyone who’s heard them calling will know. Round my way, in Norfolk, folk often call herons “harnsers”, but I reckon Frank The Harnser would have been too obscure for a blog title. So Frank The Heron it is, partly just because and partly in honour of the marvellous example who I see almost every day from my kitchen window, flapping up and down the river. I don’t know if it’s a male or a female but I do know its name is Frank.
The photo above is not Frank. Well, it is, obviously, but it’s another Frank, pictured at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. You should go to Strumpshaw if you live anywhere vaguely close. It’s a great place, really close to Norwich and with pretty much the whole range of classic Norfolk Broads environments. You’ll almost certainly see plenty of it in this blog. The cosy woodland, the whispering reeds, the wide, flat expanses of marsh and fen, all have their own character and their own favourite time of year. Likewise, the animal and bird life waxes and wanes with the seasons, some of it permanently resident, some ephemeral, merely pausing for a moment. Go there. And then go there again. And then again. And then you’ll begin to start seeing the hidden things, the less obvious, the more secretive. And if you hand in your resignation and go and stake the place out constantly, who knows? One day you might see a bittern.
In the meantime, here’s what happens if you walk very slowly towards some greylag geese:
Captions welcome in the comments section…
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