At the mouth of Noons Creek the other day (Sept 22), a Blue Heron was observed that had eyes bigger than its stomach. The heron was seen wading in the shallows of the mud-flats near the mouth of the creek and attempting to ingest a salmon that was clearly too big for it’s own good!
The heron struggled for some considerable period of time to get the salmon into it’s stomach, as can be seen in the photos and video we share here. Whilst it actually did get the fish down it’s throat, it was quite obvious it was not going any farther (anytime soon anyway), and that the heron was very uncomfortable with it’s meal choice.
Then things got a little dramatic. A fellow Blue Heron arrived on the scene, and for whatever reason (jealousy? territory?), decided that the gluttonous Blue Heron needed to be punished. An attack ensued resulting in the first Heron being wounded. Now bleeding from a few wounds and still with a very full throat, the heron must have decided it was all too much. After some frenzied regurgitation attempts, the salmon was finally ejected from the heron’s throat into the water – the last photos show the heron looking pensively down into the water at the meal that wasn’t to be 🙁
This would have been no easy task, when you remember that fish are really only designed to move in one direction (forward) and all fins etc almost act like barbs and tend to stick into any surface if pushed backwards.
Both herons lived to fight another day…………..but they sure entertained a large crowd along the Inlet Park boardwalk at the mouth of Noons Creek that day.
Some in-sequence photos are embedded below (check out the heron’s blood stains on the rock in the last two photos) – but more are available at: http://1drv.ms/1O74K00
Credit for ALL photos and video goes to one of our amazing volunteers, Aude Bertoncello!