I’m convinced now that this fellow is a Great Blue Heron. I wasn’t sure at first though, because he has no neck. For a while, we thought that he might be a yellow or black crowned heron, but the coloration wasn’t right. I don’t know why his long neck isn’t showing. Maybe he was tired? He is sporting his mating plumage, those lacy feathers on his chest. Maybe his no-neck stance in some way puffs out his chest and makes him more attractive to all of the other herons. Or maybe he has something caught in this throat. I once saw a Great Blue swallow a fish. It was a small one, only six inches long, but still it made a sizable bulge as it worked its way down the throat. That was only a little fish. The waters of the Japanese Gardens are stocked with koi, big koi. Even if he swallowed one of the smaller ones, it would have been a difficult proposition for him to swallow, just as you are having difficulty swallowing too. He might not even be able to lift his neck or he might be so embarrassed by the bulge that he keeps his neck folded down just to hide the lump.