Tails from the riverbank


Admittedly, it wouldn’t be my first choice of lunchtime menu, but I came across this Grey Heron trying to ram the biggest Brown Rat this side of Gotham’s darkest sewers down it’s maw on Sands Lake at Ainsdale today.
Don’t know whether the heron had killed Ratty, or was just attempting to snaffle some carrion, either way it proved something of a challenge.



When wild flailing and gagging didn’t work, the heron took to dunking the carcass under the water for up to 35 seconds at a time – it was already dead, so presumably the heron was trying to soften up its meal rather than drown it…


When this failed the heron would dump the rat and wander off to clean its bill on overhanging branches, like a Blackbird wiping its beak on wet grass after snarfing a worm.
Then it would repeat the grisly process.



After 20 minutes or so, the heron gave up and waded off, eyes bigger than its stomach…