I watched the Heron Eats a Crazy Meal show from catch to swallow ten minutes later. It probably wasn’t a giant leech, but that’s what it looked like. And squirmed like. Maybe an eel? But it had that sort of shape-shifting thing going on, alternating between shorter and fatter and longer and thinner, which I don’t think eels can do. But are there marine leeches? (Of course there are.) Okay, maybe it was a leech. Anyway, I had good clear view, but just a little too far away to be able to make a clear ID.
It was quite a drama. The leech-thing really put up a fight. It was bigger than the heron’s head, and it kept managing to wrap itself around the heron’s beak, which the heron did not like, and so there was a lot of head shaking. Finally the heron dropped the maybe-leech on a wide paved area and went to work pecking at it to try to subdue it. Which didn’t work as well as you’d think from the theoretical stabbing potential of that beak. But the leech-thing did slow down eventually… and the heron went ahead and swallowed it, with a little difficulty, while it was still violently thrashing. Premature, I’d say! Unwise
And then the heron looked reeeeeeally uncomfortable. It really did. If a heron can communicate “I’ve made a huge mistake” with body language, it did. It drank a fair bit of sea water, too.