The grey heron (Ardea cinerea)
These large birds are a delight to watch and photograph. These images were taken at Mai Po, and the high key (white background) is down to the lighting conditions with a pale sky and an exposure for the bird. Not always my favourite, but it can give a very painterly or graphic look sometimes.
In Ancient Rome, the heron was a bird of divination that gave an augury (sign of a coming event) by its call; Whilst in Ancient Egypt, the bird deity Bennu, associated with the sun, creation, and rebirth, was depicted as a heron in New Kingdom artwork.
Roast heron was once a specially prized dish in Britain for special occasions such as state banquets. For the appointment of George Neville as Archbishop of York in 1465, 400 herons were served to the guests. Yum yum!