A Grey Heron and Some Sheep

Back on my patch today with a morning run part way along the River Leven. I’ve seen this heron quite a few times over the last month but usually the heron sees me before I see it and all I get is a glimpse of it flying away like a prehistoric Pterodactyl. Even just yesterday I spotted the bird at a spot in the village where the road closes to the river to within a couple of metres. I stopped the van and slowly started to dig the camera out. Herons must have a sixth sense or be camera shy because that was the cue for take off.

So I wasn’t very hopeful when I peered over a gate and saw the heron. Camera out, full zoom and bingo. But then I realised the camera was set to landscape mode meaning a low shutter speed resulting in camera shake at full zoom. I changed to Sports mode and by then some sheep were coming down to ford the river exactly where the heron was trying to fish. Wings outstretched I expected the heron to fly but no it just nonchalantly took a couple of long strides and settled back to watch the sheep cross. How has the heron learnt that sheep are harmless but not humans? Is it all in the genes or just familiarity?

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