The sun was hot and bright.  The Haw River was running gently.  A great blue heron fledgling was fishing … sometimes he got his fish … sometimes he missed.  Practice is both the key to the catch and the key to getting the fish from the front of the beak to inside the beak and down the throat!

 

The BIG one doesn’t always get away …
this immature great blue heron caught this fish 
at the Jordan Lake Dam in the fog early this morning.
I didn’t get to see if he managed to swallow the fish.
The heron headed for the far bank and I lost him in the shadows.

A proper bald eagle scowl.  
 
Usually I am the watcher.  Today I found myself being the observed species by this osprey.
 
The tiny fluffs of feathers on each side of this double-crested cormorant’s head are his “crests”.
Only the mature double-crested cormorant has the crests.  
There are none on the immature bird at the lower right.
This is a first for me and my camera – a great horned owl.
Truly a mouthful…for this great blue heron.

Oft times the great blue heron appears to be grey.
As he successfully fished this afternoon, his shades of blue more than matched his name.

WALK8668 02-05-16 @ 16-52-49 Haw gbh fishing

Just whose fish is it? Both great blue herons have dibs and bills on it…
There ensued a royal tug-of-war between the two birds.
The heron in the water is the one who caught the fish.
And ultimately held onto it.
Wild day on the lake even though it was cloudy and dripping rain.

great blue heron fight

Honest, there is a great blue heron in the photo!
The high waters of the lake have flooded all of the shoreline.
This allows the heron to stalk his fish and other snacks far into the tree line.
The lanky body of the heron becomes almost invisible until a stray sun beam lights his eye.

gbh fishing flood