Saturday, 23 April 2011

Rare Herons On Patch

As per usual, sorry about the lack of updates of late!! I have got quite a lot to write about really, but as I'm short of time tonight, I'll just mention the two bits of BIG bird news from the past week...

Tonight, as I was slaving over my laptop, Phil phoned with the EXCELLENT news that he had very unselfishly unblocked one of his long-standing patch blockers! Phil's already seen two Purple Herons on patch, tonight he found his third from Colyford Common hide sat out in full view on Colyford Marsh at about 18:45.

I scoped it from the main road between Axmouth and Boshill (for safety!), then headed round to Colyford Common hide..... WHAT A BIRD! Not only a patch tick - but a UK tick too...

If you enlarge any of the above photos, enlarge the lower one and check out the size of its bill!!

Not only was the light perfect, and the plumage of the bird tip top, but the views were just fantastic! It sat out in full view for the entire time - I reckon it was a bit knackered after its flight from wherever it has come from.

At about 19:15 it started to shuffle about a bit and look more lively - then just after 19:20 it took to the air and began flying up and south in huge circles...

Check out its stunning russet underwing!

And here's a video of it flying up, away and off....

It was last seen heading off east

Thanks Phil - cracking bird!!!

Okay, now for the other bit of big bird news from last week....

Mid afternoon on Tuesday 19th, Dad phoned - he had a summer plumaged Great White Egret on Seaton Marshes! Twenty minutes later...

What a bird!

This is only the second Great White Egret I have ever seen on patch - and this is the first I have ever seen in breeding plumage; stunning BRIGHT GREEN lores, almost complete all black bill, pink legs and long white plumes..... wow!!!


  1. Two great ticks,well done Steve.

  2. Cracking birds both of them - I do like rare Herons and Egrets :-)

  3. A Purple Heron at wilstone Res, Herts on 25th... same one? Perhaps not, as they are getting a little more common in UK...
    Ed Griffiths

  4. Who knows Ed!! I am surprised it wasn't seen on the Fleet or Radipole/Lodmoor that night or the following morning though.