[Tweeters] Great Blue Heron drops out of sky to catch large salmonid at Andrews Bay

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 21 20:32:15 PDT 2021

Hi all,
I have never seen or experienced anything like this. A Heron dropped from about 30 feet up over open water, hit the water hard and caught the largest fish I've ever seen a Heron catch (it looked to my unfish-educated eye like certainly a Salmonid seemingly about 10 inches long) Then it swam like a duck while positioning and swallowing the fish before it took off.
Delia and I were celebrating our first full day of both being 70 and this tragic weather by swimming in the middle of Andrews Bay at Seward Park at the first buoy if anyone is familiar with the Bay.

I was looking ahead,coming up for air after a stroke when I heard something big hit the water hard right next to me and slightly behind me, maybe 10 feet away. It scared me, to be honest, and I looked over and tried to make sense of what was happening, I thought it was going to be a person. But it was a Great Blue heron floating like a duck in the water. Then I saw the very large fish that it was positioning to swallow, which it did very quickly. Then it took off. Delia was a bit further away and surfaced and said "my mind was trying to make it into a Gull, before I realized it was a Heron."
The bird had been cruising at low altitude, about 30 feet over the boats before all this happened.

It was the second amazing bird encounter I've had swimming in Lake WA, the other was when a Bald Eagle apparently changed her mind after dropping to a couple feet off the water, perhaps intrigued by my pink bathing cap, and was flapping hard a couple yards above me when I came up for air.

But this today was behavior I have never heard of--and it came just as I was feeling sorry for the bird, which I figured had been displaced by one the hordes of us humans at the lake.

Thanks and best wishes,
Ed Newbold    ednewbold1 at yahoo.com     http://www.ednewbold.com   

PS   If anyone is interested or knows anyone who might like to staff my Wildlife Art Store at the Market on Tuesdays contact me.  I consider this job bird-related, because while most of the purchases are of Market and Seattle images, the majority of prints, posters and notecards have birds or wildlife as subject matter including a large line of "Biodiversity Posters" and lots of pictures of totemic NW wildlife. The pay is somewhat higher than Seattle's minimum wage, which is currently 16.39. No "selling" involved.

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