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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 14:23   #1
Chris Hall
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Middle of London, UK

On my walk across Clapham Common this morning I came across this guy feeding the pigeons and he had a rather large visitor. I've never seen anything like this in London (although the common does seem to have a large and successful population of parakeets).

My best guess is a young egret, but I am definitely no expert, can someone help me identify it?
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 14:25   #2
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It's a Grey Heron, Chris
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 14:26   #3
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Welcome to BirdForum Chris. Your bird is a young Grey Heron. It's an unusually tame one - I wonder if it's used to being fed.
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 14:40   #4
Chris Hall
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Welcome to BirdForum Chris.
Thank you.

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Your bird is a young Grey Heron. It's an unusually tame one - I wonder if it's used to being fed.
Possibly, that guy does seem to be there every single day when I go past. The group of trees just above the heron's head is a newish (about a year) and tiny nature reserve maybe it hangs around there, I'll go and have a look tomorrow. If it used to being there it may explain it being tame as the A24 is just the other side of the trees
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 18:32   #5
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I always found the Grey Herons in certain parts of London to be extremely tolerant of us humans, places like the London Wetland Centre, Battersea Park, etc. spring to mind!


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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 18:53   #6
aeshna5
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Welcome to BirdForum Chris. Your bird is a young Grey Heron. It's an unusually tame one - I wonder if it's used to being fed.
Not unusually tame for those in some of the London parks- this is fairly typical behaviour here. There was a recent campaign to stop people feeding them in Regent's Park where they could almost be hand fed but given many inappropriate foods, including curry!
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 22:11   #7
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Birds in general seem to be much tamer in London parks than nearly anywhere else, but Grey Herons are a particularly striking example - in parks in most other cities they stick to the mid-lake islands or fenced-off areas and fly if people get too close, but in Hyde Park and Regent's Park I have squatted down almost face-to-face with herons and got frame-filling headshots without even having to zoom. Never been to Clapham Common but Wikipedia says it has ponds with fish in, so that's probably why the heron is there... not sure why it's away from the ponds and coming to bread(?) though!
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 16:31   #8
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It may be seeking to make a meal of one of the pigeons

My girlfriend got similarly close photos of a grey heron in a public park in Spain a year or two back, so this isn't an exclusively British thing.
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 20:09   #9
aeshna5
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It may be seeking to make a meal of one of the pigeons

My girlfriend got similarly close photos of a grey heron in a public park in Spain a year or two back, so this isn't an exclusively British thing.
It's not the Herons the pigeons have to worry about but the Lesser Blackbacks. In Hyde Park there are 2 that daily catch + feed on Feral Pigeons. Many videos of this on Ralph Hancock's blog of birdlife of Hyde Park +Kensington Gardens.
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