Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who's the bird brain? Heron fishes from a 'rock' which suddenly comes alive


The heron landed on what looked like a rock, having spied a good spot on which to perch while looking for fish

This heron was in for a shock, when the 'rock' it was perched on to fish from turned out to be a hippo.

The bird realised something strange was going on, at Kruger National Park, South Africa, after the spot it had landed on suddenly began to move.

However, undeterred from its task, the clever heron continued to use the unsuspecting mammal as the perfect hunting platform.

The hippo begins to rise up out of the water but the clever heron continues to surf the mammal

During the remarkable 10-minute encounter the heron desperately tried to keep balance as the hippo repeatedly came up for air.

Finally, it managed to spot a frog in the water, which it skilfully picked up in its beak before flying off with its catch.

At first, British photographer Andrew Forsyth thought the heron was sitting on top of a small mud island.

It was only when the huge creature emerged from the water that he realised it was a hippo wallowing in a mud bath.

The 42-year-old from Brighton, East Sussex, said: 'The scene was already quite special because there was an orange haze caused by bush fires that raged in the distance as the sun went down.

The heron manages to stay atop the hippo - and even catches a frog while riding the animal

'I spotted the heron on what I thought was a small mud island and watched it as it looked for fish for several minutes.

'Suddenly the "island" rose up out of the water, two nostrils appeared and took a big breath then went under again.

'I watched it for several minutes, again with the heron looking out for fish passing by, the hippo rising and falling occasionally as he breathed.

'The hippo didn't seem to mind the presence of the passenger - I do wonder if it felt like a good back scratch for him.'

source: dailymail

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