The West Yorkshire Police helicopter attracted a lot of attention as it hovered over Almondbury.

But it was other aerial activity that captivated retired NHS receptionist Cathy Hirst.

She had stepped out of her home in the village to see what the helicopter was doing and was stunned to see two large heron perched on the roofs of houses at the bottom of her garden.

Especially as she has a garden pond filled with fish - the heron’s staple diet!

Fomer NHS worker Cathy Hirst took this photo of a heron on a roof opposite her Almondbury home
Fomer NHS worker Cathy Hirst took this photo of a heron on a roof opposite her Almondbury home
 

Ms Hirst, 65, was able to watch the birds for a few minutes and to capture them on camera before they flew away.

She said: “It was on Tuesday evening when i heard the helicopter. It turned out they were investigating a robbery at a betting shop in the village.

“As I stepped into the garden i saw the birds on the roofs in Longcroft, which backs on to my home in Bakston Close. They looked huge birds and I had never seen them before.

“I was a bit worried as I had just cleaned out myt garden pond and the fish in there are now clearly visible. I have goldfish up to eight inches long and I’m sure the heron would be very interested”.

FACTFILE

Latin name : Ardea cinerea

Family: Bitterns and herons (Ardeidae)

Where to see them: Around any kind of water – garden ponds, lakes, rivers and even on estuaries. Sometimes, grey herons circle high up into the sky and can be mistaken for large birds of prey.

When to see them: At any time of year – our grey herons do not migrate.

What they eat: Lots of fish, but also small birds such as ducklings, small mammals like voles, and amphibians. After harvesting, grey herons can sometimes be seen in fields, looking for rodents.

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