Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Thick-necked Heron [Ardea grossneccus] - More from the Étangs Foucault...

The Thick-necked Heron

This is a picture blog with the stories in the captions.

The headline story will follow...
first a couple of Great Crested Grebes [Podiceps cristatus] Grèbe huppé displayed...


First the grebes swim towards one another... but not looking at each other...
...when they meet, they gradually rise out of the water, flicking their heads from side to side...
occasionally banging their bills together...
...then they dip their heads away alternately... before...
... turning to swim parallel with each other and...
...diving at the same time to get a bit of weed.
So good so far... but this pair didn't continue by rising at the same time with weed in mouth and then walking on the water towards each other. [Like this] A shame... perhaps they weren't that interested in each other... or there was too little weed... or they were new to the game...who knows.

And now the headline...  a sighting of the rare Thick-necked Heron [Ardea grossneccus] Héron gôutpikée...

The heron mentioned in the last posting seems to have been successful... it looks large though...
....but, it doesn't seem to be dead yet...STAB with the bill...
... is it dead yet... picks it up again... wow! It is big... no wonder it is having difficulty... it is as big as its head!
Ahha! It's caught a good sized Pike [Esox lucius] Brochet...
no wonder it is having difficulties...
it has caught more than it can eat in one go.
It is a bit of a beak full...
he's going to have fun flying off with that!
No... he's not happy with it... another STAB... will that finish it?
Now what's he doing? Looks as though he's getting ready to fly off with it...
Yes... that's well positioned... he'll fly off now and eat it elsewhere.
No.... I think he's going to swallow it now.... he'll choke!!
By George...he's going to do it!!
And there you have it The Thick-necked Heron [Ardea grossneccus] Héron gôutpikée... in all its glory!
And that's what comes of large lunches... 
...now take off.

We then moved on towards the Cherine...

7 comments:

Susan said...

Great sighting of this fantastically rare bird!

Terrific photo series of both species behaviour, with a bit of tension and a laugh - very good story.

Tim said...

Thanks Susan... just felt I couldn't let it run as "heron catches pike.. swallows it" The stabbing at the pike's head was very vigorous... the heron REALLY wanted to make sure there was no life left!
Mind you... I don't think I'd do any different if I was able or going to eat a pike head first... photo eight, with the pike's head clearly visible at the back of the throat, is the "one bite now and he'll find I'm going nowhere" moment that would have been the death of both of them. I've had to retrieve a glove from a "dead" Jack pike whilst helping a friend disgorge the hook... took another couple of whacks to make it let go of my glove. Tasted good tho' [pike that is.]

Tim said...

On another note entirely... what Anti-Virus do you use?

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Fantastic photos of the heron, bravo. As for anti-Virus, I have used Avast for years. It is a free download and it was recommended to me by an IT man who runs it right through his company. Diane

Jean said...

Marvellous photos.
That's one really determined bird!!

GaynorB said...

Great pics Tim. Really enjoyed the post.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Fabulous photos, Tim, and a perfect demonstration of why this heron has the name "Thick necked"!