bookmark bookmark
Avocet On April - 3 - 2014

This evening Chris and I took Tilley for her usual walk around Millbrook Lake, a bit later than usual about 7pm. As it was late I didn’t bother taking binoculars – I should know better! We parked at the dam and a Little Egret was fishing by the outflow grid, where often a Grey Heron sits. Our walk around the lake and surrounding area was uneventful apart from spotting a Song Thrush carrying food to its chicks in a nest in the depths of a bramble patch. At about 7.40 as we approached the far end of the dam, our attention was drawn to a Grey Heron that called as it flew towards the sluice grid flushing the Little Egret and another heron that we had not noticed. The Grey Heron ignored the Little Egret, but pursued the other Heron and I immediately noticed that it was somewhat smaller and slimmer than its pursuer. ¬†The two birds flew low over the water before swinging up over the dam; the smaller bird was much browner, especially on the forewing, ‘That’s a Purple Heron!’ I said to Chris and then cursed for not having my bins. The contrast between the two birds was distinct. The Grey Heron called off its attack and flew back to the sluice but we concentrated on the Purp. It flew over the dam and circled the top end of the Creek at one point flying towards us. The kinked neck was sharper than Grey Heron but what was most obvious was the jerky flight with more obvious power into the down strokes, rather than the more even flight of a Grey Heron. It then turned and headed purposefully down the Creek towards Lower Anderton and was lost from view, still with the same jerky flight. We hurried back to the car and drove down the southern side of the Creek but by now the light was fading and with the extreme high tide there was few places for the bird to rest and we could not relocate it. Well if you’d told me on Sunday that I was going to find two Southern European overshoots this week in my local patch I’d have said ‘No chance’ but it goes to show how wrong you can be.

There’s a moral to this – ¬†always expect the unexpected and take your binoculars.

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments are closed.