REMARKABLE pictures show a vicious battle between two grey herons in which one of the giant birds comes close to drowning its rival.
Harry Spence, a firefighter from Leuchars, Fife, captured the brutal struggle over territory at the nearby Eden Estuary Reserve.
Harry, 56, uploaded the images with the caption: “Bit of an argument, thought it was going to drown the other one.”
The majestic, and normally serene birds are occasionally glimpsed standing stock still on the riverside waiting to catch fish.
But Harry, who took the pictures on Wednesday, captured a much more violent side of their nature.
He said today (Fri) “The birds fought for three or four minutes until one tired so much it nearly gave up entirely.
“It had its head forced under the water for longer than I could hold my breath.
“I really thought it was drowned at one point. However, it did regain its composure and accepted defeat and flew off eventually.”
The images show the dominant bird managing to hold its struggling rival almost completely under water by standing on its back.
Another snap shows the struggling heron managing briefly to get its head above the water.
Pictures then show the apparently lifeless bird lying limp in the water before managing to escape.