SITE LOCATION AND VIEWS
Ammocoete SITE Wide View
Site location: closer view
Inlet from river - rocky patch
Inlet: FLOODED (Dec 18, 2015)
Ammocoete site flooded (2015)
GREEN HERON EATING AMMOCOETES - JULY 2, 2019
I was at Delta Ponds for only half-an-hour on July 2, around 9am on a calm lightly overcast day. I happened to find this Green Heron eating what I took at first to be a small snake. It caught another one the same size right away and I thought that to be odd on a cool early morning in deep shade so I looked at the photos and saw immediately that these were not snakes - they were something like EELS! I could only stay a short time, unfortunately, but I noticed from the times on my camera that this Heron ate four of these things in less than six minutes! I could not see anything that might have helped the Heron to find these guys, but he was sensing something because the Heron would run two feet or so and grab another one.
Ventral side of ammocoete
Heron extracting ammocoete from silt
Heron after extracting ammocoete
SHORT VIDEO of Green Heron thrashing an ammocoete
This is a very poor video. The Heron has its back to the camera and the ammocoete can only be seen very briefly wriggling around as the Heron holds it in its bill. I rarely take videos, but if I'd had more time that morning I might have taken another video, but alas, I was already late for picking up friends for a day-trip to Portland.
PHOTOS OF RIPPLES/BUBBLES WHILE HERON WAS FEEDING ON AMMOCOETES
I did not notice these ripples and/or bubbles on July 2 when I took photos of the Green Heron eating the ammocoetes, but upon seeing a short stream of bubbles coming up from the silt on my return visit on July 12, I (eventually) went back and looked through the July 2nd photos and discovered there were two photos from that set which also show ripples on the water surface a short distance from the Heron. I want to stress that on July 2, the photos were taken near 9am on a windless lightly overcast morning. There were no leaves falling from the trees. These ripples were either from something moving in the water or from bubbles rising up out of the silt. (The July 12 photo set further down this page includes one which shows definite bubbles coming up). It is possible that small fish were making some of these ripples, though they couldn't make the sreams of bubbles seen in some of the photos seen further down this page. Also if the ripples were made by small fish, that leaves the question of how the Green Heron was finding the ammocoetes from two or three feet away, because he ran a few feet each time to pick up another ammoecoete.
Ripples/bubbles near Heron while it feeds on an ammocoete
RETURN VISIT JULY 12, 2019 Ripples on surface (possibly from Bubbles rising up from silt) at site where Heron had been feeding on ammocoetes
Feeding area and two ripple/bubble locations
The most conspicuous bubbles
Revisit Ammocoete site July 15 to Photograph newly exposed silt as water level drops
I took this set of photos because it struck me that the "cottage-cheese curd-like" texture of the soil seemed unusual. It reminded me of fresh worm-casting in an active compost pile. Why does silty soil which has been below water look like so many identical "curds"? There are no clear bird footprints either. If birds walking through repeatedly somehow caused this,there would be footprints from the last few birds to walk through this patch, but there are none to be seen.
Revisit Ammocoete site again, July 28, to Photograph silt again as water drops
"Cottage Cheese" texture of exposed soil
Above the water line; 3 views progressively closer: #1
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