Last year Bernard Bradshaw took pictures of a Grey Heron fishing in the tidal mouth of the Mar Dyke where it caught an amazing Greater Pipefish which is a relative of the Seahorse (which is also found in the Thames). It was a new species of fish for us.
Today, what could concievably be the same adult Grey Heron was caught in the act of despatching an enormous Tub Gurnard! This vivid orange red fish is found in the Thames but being a bottom dweller is rarely encountered. I have raided wikipedia for some facts:
'Gurnards are very distinctive bottom-living fish with large heads and eyes. The head is protected by large bony plates and strong spines. The lower three rays of the pectoral fins are separate, finger-like processes that contain sensory organs. These are used by the gurnard to 'feel' for small fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates living in the sediment.'
Tom Bell was on hand to capture the moment although quite how the Heron swallowed this monster with its pointed finger like pectoral fin spines is beyond me!
It is red I promise!
See! Some colour! and those three 'fin spines' that it uses for walking across the river bed feeling for prey.
Tom even got this video of the final moments...
Not for the faint hearted!
if you're hungry enough I guess...
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