Before we viewed our house, we saw the grey heron. It was flying directly over our car, while carrying a fish in its mouth. I was enchanted by its huge wingspan, which reminded me of the white storks that had a nest atop Town Hall near our last Dutch residence.
After moving to our new house, we noticed the heron was a frequent visitor to "our" canal, which is stocked with plenty of fish (keeping mosquitoes at bay). The heron also eats frogs and other small mammals. Alas, it's been known to grab a baby duckling or two.
Until today, I've never been able to get a decent photograph of the elusive heron, which tends to stalk its prey while hidden among the reeds or in an unobtrusive position on the canal bank. This morning I grabbed my camera and watched as the heron caught and ate three fish, then flew away.