Little egrets and Grey herons are species of the heron family. Herons are tall, long-legged, long-billed wading birds, found in wetlands all over the world. They feed on fish, crabs, shrimps, frogs, small mammals and even young birds. Their neck vertebrae are hinged in a way which allows them to spear a fish with amazing speed.
Herons and egrets are usually colonial, nesting in the tops of trees. Both species breed in a heronry on the east bank of the River Axe, opposite the Seaton Wetlands.
Egrets have an all white plumage and elongated head plumes - once used in the millenery and clothing trades.
The following sequence shows a Heron striking for a European Eel, catching and landing it, to begin the process of taking down this wriggly, slippery meal.
It was photographed from a distance which exceeded the useful reach of the 55-300mm zoom Nikon lens but it is interesting nonetheless as a study of Heron behaviour.
Another Heron demonstrates the tricky process of swallowing an Eel.
The little egret is a small, white heron that feeds on small fish and crustaceans. Once a rare visitor from the Mediterranean, little egrets are now common around the coasts of southern England and Wales having expanded their range, probably due to climate change.
Little egrets are highly photogenic. Their attractive white plumage with the 'fly-away' feathers on the bird's neck blowing in the wind, make good photographic targets when light conditions are right.