A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Purple Heron on Anglesey

With a Purple Heron turning up in a small marshy field in Capel Gwyn on Anglesey during the week, but having to attend a conference on the Saturday, I wasn’t able to make the journey over until the following Sunday. However, this turned out to be the best course of action, as the bird was showing considerably well after being quite elusive the previous day.

Upon arrival, it was clear to see the field the bird had taken up residence in, and with the assembled birders having already received permission to walk in the field the heron was occupying by the lady that owned it, the bird was quickly picked up hiding in one of the waterlogged ditches, seemingly settled and unperturbed by its admirers.

Purple Heron - Anglesey

Keeping a safe distance, we were able to fully appreciate the bird up close, taking note of the subtle brown plumage and exceptionally long dagger-like bill – no match for any unsuspecting voles or amphibians unfortunate enough to come across it.

Having already seen adults of this species in Spain earlier in the year, (the normal range for this Mediterranean heron) it was still lovely to see this first winter juvenile even if it was not yet in its beautiful purple finery. It was also clear to see the difference from our resident Grey Herons, with the bright yellow bill, warm brown plumage and the black and yellow striped head pattern just starting to come through.

Purple Heron - Anglesey

Purple Heron - Anglesey

 There have been reports of the bird having an extreme limp with a possible broken leg, although recently it appears that this is in fact the result a birth defect, with the bird having one leg quite a bit shorter than the other. Only time will tell how it gets on, but hopefully it will continue feeding happily and be able to live its life out to the full with no problems at all.

Purple Heron - Anglesey

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