Hi, I'm Rudi, i'm 8 years old and my favourite book is 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson. Its about the life of an otter named Tarka and British Wildlife. One night i was reading the book with my dad and i said that i wanted to see all the animals in the book, he said i should do it and call it the Tarka Challenge. My Tarka Challenge started on 1st January 2012. The book contains 89 birds, 54 land based animals, 120 plants and 56 aquatic organisms.

The rules are simple, i must either see each thing myself or photograph it using my trail camera. I will try and see each thing on my local patch (Ogmore River Catchment) but may need to look somewhere else in Britain.

Old Nog

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

In the book there is a wise old Heron who is called 'Old Nog'. Whenever we see a Heron we always call him Old Nog.

Herons are birds that a lot of people see. They are predators and will eat things like frogs, rats, fish and other birds. A lot of people do not like Herons because they will eat goldfish out of garden ponds. Herons live in groups and build thier nests together, these sites are called heronries. The largest heronry in Wales is at Hensol in The Vale of Glamorgan. The Heron in this film on our village pond probably lives there. The record for the most Heron nests in one tree is 25 separate nests.

Herons hunt by stalking through shallow water and can stand still for a long time before using its dagger like bill to catch its prey.

People used to eat Herons and in 1465 a party held by Lord Neville (the Archbishop of York) had 400 roasted Herons on the menu.

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