I’ve photographed cormorants attempting this trick, but have never witnessed a heron attempting to subdue and swallow an eel. This was a chance encounter, at Seven Sisters early this morning.
It was – as it seems to be every day at the moment – overcast. I’d noticed the heron out of the corner of my eye as it landed on the meadow on the far side of the inlet. At first I thought it was pecking at a stick, but then looked closer.
The heron had caught an eel and was attempting to subdue and swallow it. What follows took place over about 10 minutes. The eel put up a good fight. Several times it had been all but swallowed before wriggling free. The heron dropped it several times, and the struggle would start again. The outcome was inevitable as the heron had sensibly brought the eel on to dry land.
Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.