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Old Mar 24, 2010, 9:09 PM   #1
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Default Location... Part IV

This is one picture story I had to share. First I apologize for the poor quality of these shots, Linda was taking these with the K100 and FA-J 100-300. Under the right conditions this combo does a pretty fair job, unfortunately this wasn't one of those times. This GBH was about 150ft away and the lens won't handle that distance with much detail. Anyway I think you'll get an idea of the comedy in this series.

While I was a couple hundred ft down the path doing my own thing... Linda was getting these shots of the heron trying his best to get lunch...
I have never witnessed a heron eating a snake before and, I'm not sure he managed it this time either...
the following shots are in sequence with how it took place.
#1. He scores...

#2. He was really starting to get wrapped up in his work...

#3.In this view, you can see the blood seeping from the snake, I'm not sure if its from the wound
the GHB inflected or the biting the snake has been giving himself...

#4. A group of kids standing on the bank, started laughing so hard, the GBH turned and looked at them with this look, like he was thinking... don't just stand there... help me out here!

#5. look close perhaps you can make out the snake biting himself.

#7. He kept trying to shake the snake off his and beak... he finally shook it loose and then turned
lookin as proud as he could be back at the crowd that was watching him.

#6. Then seemingly embarrassed, He starts walking away...

Now, I know you're wondering what could I possibly have been doing to miss all the action? Well... I had an interesting shot I was working on
This guy had decided to try his luck with an EEL...
I've never seen this before either...


Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...

Last edited by Goldwinger; Mar 24, 2010 at 9:22 PM.
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 9:26 PM   #2
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Wow, it seems there are lots of slithery creatures down your way! Great pics. I've never had the good fortune of getting a shot of a GBH with a meal in its beak. These are really well done.
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 5:46 AM   #3
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Great story & great photos of it! Have never seen a GBH attempt a snake before!
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:41 AM   #4
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What a neat photo story!!! Really cool shots!
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 9:26 AM   #5
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Great photo series...GW...you're a regular Marlon Perkins...remember the Mutual of Omaha nature show...many years ago

Thanks for posting that...I've also never seen a GBH try on a snake...loooked like more then he could handle.
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 2:01 PM   #6
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Both great captures as a record of the bird's eating habits - they will take anything they can get their beaks on! Not sure which snake it is, but the "eel" is actually an amphibian (a large salamander relative), a siren (Siren lacertina) - probably easier to handle than the snake, but a real bellyful! I found another similar incident posted on the internet - according to the last (and most authoritative) comment on that thread, there are other pictures of similar captures posted, but no "official" published record of this predation:

If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.

Last edited by penolta; Mar 25, 2010 at 2:16 PM.
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 3:06 PM   #7
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Great shots GW ! I really enjoyed looking at them. Congratulate Linda (and a pat on the back for yours too)
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 5:30 PM   #8
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Thank guys, I (we) appreciate all the kind words.
Next time my wife hollers at me to come see something, I think I better pay more attention. I wish I could have witnessed the snake encounter myself, I was too busy wanting to capture my heron actually swallowing the eel and, my memory card filled up and I was swapping it out and missed the final outcome anyway.

Les, I remember him and the show quite well, and only wish I could fill his shoes!

Pen, Thank you for the added info. I didn't even know we had these eels around here, first time I've seen one.
not that I've been looking...
I'm not positive but, I believe the snake was the Yellow bellied water snake.
Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster a non venomoussnake that's often mistaken for a moccasin. I've seen them put the fear of god in more than one unsuspecting bystander.

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:14 PM   #9
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Terrific series form both of you! What a thrill to capture such action.

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Old Mar 25, 2010, 9:54 PM   #10
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Amazing story on both. That fourth image is hilarious.

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