I once held a White-faced Heron in my hand, astounded at how small and delicate this seemingly large waterbird actually is. Growing up in the Western District this species was often known erroneously as the ‘Blue Crane’. I hadn’t heard this moniker for years until recently – reminding the observer, in a minor outburst of pedantry, that this beautiful bird is actually a heron. Our only local crane is, of course, the Brolga.
Earlier this week I watched three White-faced Herons on the Loddon, ‘fishing’ from a giant fallen River Red-gum. Unusually they allowed some close observation as they clambered around the fallen limbs searching for small fish and other prey in the water below. As I sat quietly a White-necked Heron languidly cruised past and an adult Nankeen Night-heron flapped overhead en route to its evening hunting spot. A nice trio for minimal effort!