Purple haze: herons again

I am used to living in places with a single common heron (Great Grey in England, Great Blue in Maine), plus maybe an egret or two. But The Gambia has many. Today’s focus is the Purple Heron, a graceful smallish heron that lurks in the mangrove roots and is often glimpsed when an evening sunbeam catches its paler head and neck:

The Purple heron, Ardea purpurea, is up to 90cm (3ft) tall. It lives year-round in sub-Saharan Arica (especially west Africa) , India and SE Asia, and some breed in Southern Europe.

When this one took off, I wasn’t quite ready, but the soft out-of-focus image looked so like a ghostly apparition of a ballerina that I embellished it:

In flight, it proceeded to lighten its load:

Then it soared off above the trees, with the sun behind it casting a shadow of its legs onto the underside of its wings:

It slowly straightened its legs

and settled into flight:

5 thoughts on “Purple haze: herons again”

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