Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Squacco Heron : Watermill Flood, Ogmore

Whilst having a lay-in on the morning of Sun 29th May a "grapevine" text alerted me to a Squacco Heron found at the Watermill Flood, Ogmore by Sea which has turned up some good birds over the years, 45 minutes later I was breezing into the pub car park where by now several birders were admiring the rare heron.
This was a bird that I had been longing to catch up with having missed out seeing one with Dan and Wayne several years ago down near Newton Abbot, it was a county, Wales, and UK "tick" so a bird not to be missed.
Not a "lifer" though as I had seen the species in Cyprus several years ago.
I unpacked my camera gear and took up a position at the fence at the back of the car park moving on to the fenceline along the main road a little later as the bird moved along the edge of the flood.
The bird was always a little distant and nobody feared to encroach in case they flushed it, all I and others were able to get were some "record" shots.......

I "filled my boots" with the bird as they say and headed for home with a plan to return in the evening when most who wanted to see the bird had already seen it and with less people about a close approach may be possible.
A beer festival meant that the pub was very busy but there were only a few birders/toggers present one being Martin Bailey-Wood who it was good to catch up with and chat to, I asked the remaining birders if I could make a close approach and managed to get down to the flood with the cover of the line of trees in the field.
I peered through some brambles unseen by the bird and rattled off a dozen shots before some clown with all the fieldcraft of a herd of stampeding elephants who had followed me down to the trees stepped across a gap in the trees to my left and the bird immediately took flight and backed off to the far side of the flood, furious just doesn't come in to it !!

Having got the above two shots I was convinced that I could "nail" the bird and so got up at 3.15am the following morning and under cover of darkness was perched on my stool inside a hide nestled in the trees adjacent the flood, unfortunately for me and others who had turned up on the Bank Holiday Monday the bird had decided to move on in the night and was never seen again, a typical "one dayer" !!
From my hide I would have really "nailed" the bird and was bitterly disappointed that despite my best efforts the bird had moved on, never mind, there's always next time.

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