Thursday, August 11, 2016

Squacco Heron -- Barton Pits

This bird has proven to be particularly elusive and time consuming; I have spent about 30 hours looking for it around my patch over the last week and can confirm that it is not just not easy but damned difficult; After the brief sightings on the night of the 6th when it flew into Hotel pt from the east at 20:30 and was seen briefly in the hedge by the hide it could not be found on Sunday, did not fly into roost that night and the same on Monday. Several other people have put in a lot of time but the daily whereabouts of the bird have remained unknown. Then on Tuesday evening just as the rain set in with a vengeance a certain Scunny area birder who also enjoys drowning the odd worm saw the Squacco sitting there on the pond he wash fishing; a site that has been checked many times over previous days. The bird remained on that pond until 20:20 catching at least one large fish and calling fairly regularly late in the evening a fairly typical heron like aaarrrg note. At 20:20 it flew up and off to the west but was lost to view. The owners of the pond allowed access that evening but the site is otherwise private with very restricted viewing from the adjacent road. While present it made a few flights around the pond and even seemed to set off away from the site but came back each time. It seemed to be very tolerant of people but did flush at one point when fishermen walked past a hedge it was perched in. I checked the site from 06:30 the following morning and at intervals all day but it was not seen again there or anywhere as far as I know o the 10th but it could still be somewhere.
This is the 5th Squacco Heron for Lincs and the first in August; it is an adult in breeding plumage.

1861 Lincolnshire A Fillingham Lake, near Gainsborough, shot, June.
1910 Lincolnshire A Great Cotes, immature, shot, 29th September.
1999 Lincolnshire A Messingham, adult, 3rd to 11th June, photo.
2015        Lincolnshire     A      Kirkby Pits adult summer, June 27th photo

a bit of iphone video below through Swaro 95 scope

Squacco Heron

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