Ready for a bite - a heron monitors the don at Sheffield’s Kelham Island

Bird pictured in the River behind Kelham Island

Bird pictured in the River behind Kelham Island

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IT’S not only people who are returning to the area around Kelham Island - herons are finding the environment to their liking, too.

This one was spotted on the River Don by Star and Telegraph photographer Steve Ellis.

“They are fairly common these days,” said Alistair McLean, curator of Natural Science at Museums Sheffield.

“There seems to have been an upsurge in their numbers over the past ten to 15 years, especially on the River Don.

“It is common to see herons flying between Hillsborough Park and the Don. The area between Wardsend and Kelham is particularly good for wildlife because it is so quiet down there. Usually herons are solitary birds, but I have seen groups flying in a v formation, which is peculiar.”

Alistair said that better water quality in the Don was encouraging herons. “There are some really big fish in the river - I have seen brown trout jumping up weirs.”

Then there is another source of food - large fish from garden ponds.