Fishing in split pea soup

A little while ago I spotted an adult Black-crowned Night Heron during the day. Which is a bit odd considering it’s name. Normally they become active as the sun sets and during the night. And stay hidden in the trees during day-time. But this guy thought otherwise. Probably he woke up hungry and thought that a little snack wouldn’t harm. So he got up and out and flew to it’s favorite snack spot. It’s right there I spotted this guy. I stayed hidden and watched closely as he looked at the menu and picked a large bowl of split pea soup. “Can you add a little bite for me” he asked the waiter when he ordered his snack. The waiter nodded and came back with a real large bowl, filled to the rim with something that looked like a fine split pea soup. “We’re out of split peas but we managed to get you some duckweed” the waiter apologized. “But how about my bite?” the hungry Heron asked. The waiter smiled and said: “you’ll have to fish for it. But if you’re good at it, I promise you it will be worth your while!”.

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The Heron looked at the bowl and thought: “how the beep am I gonna get those snacks?”. The green substance offered no visibility at all at to what was in it. The Heron didn’t know what the kitchen had prepared for him, but the waiter had given him a hint. You’ll have to fish for it, he said. And fish was exactly what the Heron had hoped for. Frog legs would have been nice, but fresh fish for starters would definitely make his day. So he sat down and stared at his bowl. At first there was nothing that gave his bite away.

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But this Heron wouldn’t be called a Heron if he didn’t know how to catch a fish underneath a thick layer of duckweed. He tilted it’s head a little and listened carefully. As I watched him positioning his head,  I never realized that a Heron would be able to hear (?) the fish. Than in a split second he went down into the green soup and came up with a fish in it’s beak. I still can’t believe it. Seeing absolutely nothing and still knowing where the fish is. And I can tell you it wasn’t a lucky shot, as the Heron performed this incredible trick four times on a row without missing the fish at any of these attempts.It is like me poking in a bowl of split pea soup to get the meatballs out one by one. I’am still flabbergasted…

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