How long does it take for a Purple Heron to eat its lunch?

Ken Morrison’s discovery of a Purple Heron at Marshside shortly before lunch was just the ticket today – I drove up the coast to find Ken all on his lonesome, admiring his find as it strutted about under the Sandplant car park looking totally prehistoric.
Presumably the bird that had been lurking over on the dark side at Eagland Hill until today, the heron strode about through the winter-bleached vegetation, oblivious to the growing twitch.

It stood motionless for long periods as herons do, a study in concentration, but it was super-snaky when it got its groove on.
The site’s Short Tailed Voles may disagree.
At least I think it was a Short Tailed Vole – lunch didn’t take very long to disappear down the heron’s gullet.
For the full appalling video, click here.
For those of a sensitive disposition, you may want to watch a short video of it strolling about here (not eating) instead.

Looking back through the pages of “The Birds of Marshside” the only other site record is of a bird in flight heading Crossens way in 1979 (Barry McCarthy found that one).
Excellent work today Ken, many thanks – time for some patch gold smiles!