This is the time of year that one needs to look a little harder. Now that the ice is off the reservoir, the waterfowl that were in the river below the dam have either dispersed or taken the next step on their northward journey. Other southern migrants, such as warblers, have not yet arrived in any appreciable numbers. One day it’s sunny and mild and the next windy, cold, with rain off and on. Today, as we did our first Loon patrol of the season along Griggs Reservoir, it was one of the latter. Even so, we did manage to see several Canada geese, a number of Ring-billed Gulls, one Pied Bill Grebe and one male Bufflehead but no Loons.
Yesterday, walking along the river below Griggs Dam, the story was much the same with respect to waterfowl, but the usual suspects were out including Great Blue Herons and Kingfishers. What made our day was seeing a heron consume a fish that seemed way to big for the bird. It took some work, but the bird finally did it. Not that there was any choice given the “head first” way a heron swallows a fish. From what we saw, the fish may have been one of the many shad we’ve seen dead or dying along the reservoir probably the result of the harsh winter. I’ve seen herons swallow some pretty big fish over the years but this may have been a record.
click on the image for a better view
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