Epping Forest’s Silent Killer

There is a killer lurking in the rushes at Strawberry Hill Pond

Silent KillerSilent Killer

It’s a grey heron and I have seen him every day this week. Last night I think he was hunting for the fish predating upon the tiny froglets that are starting to emerge from the ponds at last.

Froglet

Froglet

You can just about see one in the picture above, they are very well camouflaged and we did get a bit worried about squashing them underfoot so we left them to it. Of course this seasonal bonanza of tadpoles and froglets explains why these chaps are so well fed.

Terrapin

Terrapin

I caught a flotilla of three of them leaving the rushes at Strawberry Hill on Monday, although they were too widely spaced to get them all into a single frame.

Up periscope

Up periscope

They reminded me a bit of that old newsreel footage of U-Boat wolf packs leaving harbour to hunt for allied shipping. This wasn’t going to end well for some baby frogs. Now I think they must have started emerging on Tuesday because on Monday the heron was fishing at the nearby Earl’s Path Pond.

Hunting heron

Hunting heron

Earl’s Path Pond is quite different to Strawberry Hill, it’s smaller and covered by water lilies.

Water Lilly

Water Lily

The water lilies provide a nice bit of shade for the fish and a great place for herons to stalk them.

Look out below!

Look out below!

Sadly when the heron struck he was off before I could bring the Nikon to bear, but the fish he took (a carp by the look of it) was surprisingly large.

All photos taken by me except for the little froggy snapped by Mab

Photos copyright QueenMab/Shipscook Photographic. contact simon.ball3@btopenworld.com for commercial reuse

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