On this particular day, I photographed one of the herons catching and eating a vole. And he did it from the water. He was standing next to a high bank along the shoreline, but instead of facing out toward the water, he kept staring at the bank. He did this for quite some time and I couldn't figure out what he was doing. It was only when he made that quick heron strike that I realized he had been hunting something other than fish. If I hadn't been paying attention, I would have missed the whole thing.
I didn't know exactly what kind of rodent he'd caught until I got home and downloaded the photos. I'm 99.9% sure it was a vole. It wasn't a mole or a mouse, although voles are sometimes referred to as field mice. I compared photos from the Internet and I'm pretty sure I've identified it correctly as a vole. At any rate, it was an exciting moment and I'm glad I was watching closely.
The vole had dirt and debris on it from the muddy bank where the heron grabbed it. Since herons are quite majestic birds and would never consider eating a dirty meal, this heron dunked the vole not once, not twice, but three times in the lake before eating it. It's good to know they have standards.
And here is a close-up of the hunter and his prey.
Linking to World Bird Wednesday