The adventures of the Grey Heron

Spotting a Grey Heron is one of the highlights of a holiday on the Broads.  But it seems that this familiar sight on our waterways can also be seen in rather more unfamiliar locations – as one of our skippers Oli discovered while on safari in Sri Lanka.

Here we have two pictures of Grey Herons perched on holiday cruisers in our boat basin.  The second picture shows two birds together– which is quite unusual as they are usually solitary birds.

grey heron standing on top of broads holiday cruiser

two herons stand on top of a day cruiser in Wroxham


But it seems that Grey Herons can be seen in even more exotic locations than our boat basin!

One of our skippers Oli was surprised to see a Grey Heron at the world’s largest gathering of elephants in Sri Lanka.  Oli explained: “More than 300 elephants come together in the dry season to drink from and bathe in a lake close to Minneriya National Park in what is known as ‘The Gathering’. Initially I was spellbound by the sheer number of these jumbo beasts enjoying the water at sunset but then noticed a rather smaller and more familiar creature fishing amongst them – The Grey Heron.”

brown elephants on grass with grey heron in foreground


close up of grey heron standing in water with brown elephants in background


close up of grey heron standing in water with two brown elephants in background

A few days later Oli spotted a grey Heron amongst Pelicans and surrounded by large Crocodiles at a lake in Yala National Park in the south east of the island!

grey heron standing in water with crocodiles laying on bank and pelicans

grey heron in flight over water with pelicans in foreground

There was also another favourite Broadland bird fishing from a branch precariously close to Crocodiles – The Common Kingfisher.

kingfisher standing on bare branch over water

crocodile laying on grass

It’s a little known fact that although we only have one type of Kingfisher in the UK there are actually 90 species of Kingfisher in the world – seven of which live in Sri Lanka.  These are the Pied Kingfisher (pictured below flying above the crocodile pool), the Common Kingfisher, the Ceylon Blue-eared Kingfisher, the Three-toed Kingfisher, the Stork-billed Kingfisher, the White-breasted Kingfisher and the Black-capped Purple Kingfisher.

pied kingfisher in flight

It’s not just Sri Lanka that is home to many of our favourite birds found on the Broads though.  Another of our skippers, Tobi, spotted Grey Herons on Safari in Tanzania, East Africa a few years ago.