Yesterday morning, when belatedly (9 am) peering out of the bedroom window, I noticed a Grey Heron fishing for frogs in the garden pond, just a few metres from the house. Although neighbours have previously lost goldfish in clandestine early-morning raids this is the first time I have seen the bird in our garden.
A little later in the day I found a rather damp pellet, which appeared to contain two enormous sunflower seeds, on the roof of the greenhouse. Closer investigation revealed them to be the elytra of a female Great Diving Beetle (Dytiscus marginalis). On dissection the pellet was found to contain most of the chitinous parts of the beetle, the head and one damaged elytron of another beetle (?Colymbetes fuscus) and a Water Boatman head (Notonecta sp. - thanks to Bill Dolling for identifying this), bound together with fibrous pellets and what appeared to be the less-digestible parts of a frog. It seems that the Heron had left its calling-card.
Richard Middleton, 28 March 2020