Monday, May 25, 2009
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, Mission Beach. The grunion were running tonight, at least the charts said they were. Note, however, that the charts do not say what beach they are spawing at. I drove down to Mission Beach hoping to snap a few pictures of the amazing grunion spawns. Well, the sand turtles were there in great numbers, possibly hoping for some grunion eggs. The Black-crowned Night Herons were also out in numbers, also likely longing for a grunion feast. As Black-crowned Night Herons are typically nocturnal, however, they might simply be beach regulars. Sadly, the Grunion never showed up to the party or at least not in any numbers. We went up and down the beach with flashlights and there did not appear to be anthing looking like a grunion spawning in the sand. I did see the herons snap up a little silver fish that was roughly sardine size (grunion candidate). However, there's no way to know what it was as it was up in that sharp beak and then down into the gullet in one fell swoop.