One of the joys of being able to sit quietly for a few moments is the opportunity to enjoy birds going about their normal business.

It is widely known that many wading birds include fish as part of their diet, but I had not witnessed this from a Tringa type before and was fascinated to watch this Common Greenshank catch and swallow a Mudskipper from the flats at Deep Bay in Hong Kong.

They locate their prey by sight. Without the neck mechanisms that allow herons to strike at the fish, it had to rush forward to grab the mudskipper.

I wondered if it would tip its head back and use gravity to get the meal in, but instead, it tried to use the fish’s inertia, jerking its head forward.

That wasn’t working well. The Mudskippers have a large erectile fin which makes it difficult to swallow, so the Greenshank had to reposition the fish and pin the fin down before trying again.


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Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.