Bob Mitchell, finder of Cornwall first modern day record of Green Heron…
As an employee of The Lost Gardens of Heligan Wildlife Team I had gone down to the Heligan Lost Valley early, well just after first light, in hopes of seeing the Otter, but also to try for a better picture of a Water Rail that had dropped in a couple of days ago.
After seeing the Water Rail, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail I was in the process of walking away and spotted an unusual bird in at edge of the smaller lake with its back towards me. Unsure of its identity and even though looking through my field glasses I was still unsure. Then it turned its head and I saw the bill and was totally flummoxed. Although I knew it was one of the Heron family I was not familiar with this one.
The Wildlife Team researched over the internet and we then knew what we had – a Green Heron. Another member of the Wildlife Team, Richard Stafford and Sam (another member of the Wildlife Team), has video footage of the Green Heron taking a dragonfly, but then dropping it, and the Water Rail then picking it up and eating it.
We had the bird officially identified by Derek Julian (CBWPS) and Stan Christophers.
Finders report courtesy of Bob Mitchell.
The record represents the the first record of Green Heron in Cornwall since 1889. The 1889 bird was also at Pentewan in October, but was shot!
Video courtesy of Derek Julian.
Images courtesy of Bob Mitchell, Colin Selway and Mark Whittaker