We’re having a heatwave here in south Wales at the moment and, as I really don’t like the heat or the burning sun, I almost didn’t bother getting up early and going for a walk this morning. But I’m SO glad I did because, by sheer good luck, I spotted a relatively rare bird at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.
Typical me – at the time I didn’t realise it was rare. In fact, I couldn’t work out what it was. It was across the other side of the lake and, even with my 300mm lens, I couldn’t get a close-up (see above). Was it a juvenile cormorant? The shape looked wrong. Was it a juvenile heron (there were three other Grey herons on the water near by)? The colour looked cream, rather than light grey, and the eye looked wrong.
So, I took 7 photos and continued my walk. Once home and showered and cooled down, I went through my pics, cropped them hard and posted them on my bird group page on Facebook. Result! It’s a Night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) and is a fairly uncommon migrant in Britain, with usually less than twenty records per annum. It’s caused a bit of excitement amongst local birders though, unfortunately, those who’ve looked for it this afternoon haven’t managed to see it. Needless to say, I’m rather chuffed at my sighting!
Oh, and sorry about my rubbish photos. Luckily this is a bird I’ve seen before, overseas, so you can see some better images here.