Sunday, 10 September 2017

Shrewsbury Dingle - American Night Heron

I haven't been to see the Shrewsbury American Night Heron since 4th May! I'd kinda lost interest given the location, crowds, etc. but I hadn't forgotten about it! Mainly because it's on 'everyone's? list apart from a few out of county disbelievers and to validate it (if you are of the BOU persuasion) , it needs acceptance by BBRC/BOURC? And of course there is no proven 'finder' apart from mysterious unknown visitors / birders in the 'Woodland' Hide at VP back on 7th April. So, if you were sat in the hide during that afternoon, please come forward... The rarity form will go in, whatever... I've already been in contact with Martyn Owen (County recorder) and we will ensure it moves forward (* see end note). Also, there have been claims the bird is wasting away and I wanted to see for my own two eyes...

Yep, nothing changes?


Apart from the choice of vantage / launch point!




Say ahhhh - I hadn't seen his tongue before? He looks well doesn't he!!


And still actively catching (usually) fish!


I think he missed this time!


And I finally got a decent flight sequence which eluded me in May, so here it is from start to finish...













A bit of a splash in the middle!






Before landing out of view.


* Back to the 'record'... It's morphed from European to American Night Heron and loose feathers which were collected after preening (thanks Simon Slade) during the summer have now been sent for DNA analysis. Whilst on head pattern it's perfect for hoactli, it would be nice to have this backed up! Then the question of origin arises? I'm adopting a 'wild unless proven captive' stance. There is no ring, there is no ring mark. It was incredibly skulking whilst at VP (going missing for days in the twiggery) and now has settled into a location which provides safety, plenty of food and he's learnt to make the most of it all! There's plenty of evidence on the web that US birds do exactly the same thing over there! Night Herons are intelligent birds and seem to 'learn' better than some humans methinks? They become 'Town Birds' in gardens parks etc. Question is, what's his next move...


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