Ed will be disappointed to hear that after he left earlier this afternoon regular visitors “John 6″x4″” and Geoff Doré arrived at the centre to report an unusual heron like bird, first seen in flight, but which landed briefly in a tree by Ivy Silt pond. Geoffs first reaction to the bird in flight was that it was a rather unseasonal visit by a bittern, but this thought was quickly rejected in favour of it being something more unusual. He was able to grab a picture before it flew from which we ascertained that the bird in question was actually a purple heron. A rare visitor to the UK, if our id is accurate, it will I believe be a reserve first. Geoff has promised to email the photo through in due course, with which I will update this blog entry when I have it to inform readers and,hopefully(!) verify the find.
Purple heron favour wet reed beds rather than the more open water frequented by grey heron so could find some of the reed beds around the reserve attractive enough to hang around – and who knows, it could prove to become a regular feature of the reserve/valley like its cousin the great white egret.