Saturday, 7 February 2015

The search for Ardea purpurea – January 29

Sorry no photographs for this one I accidentally deleted them from my camera

Since my last visit to the WSR on the 26th, the Purple Heron was spotted at the WSR on the 28th by Dr. John Webster at 6:46am.  That morning’s sighting prompted me to plan an early morning visit.  I arrived at the swamp at 6:30am, sunrise was forecasted for 6:25am.  It was a quiet morning.  Many of the birds were busy wading and feeding.  A family of thirteen Black-bellied Ducks was leaving their customary east tray and gradually made their way to the north – west tray.  Ten Blue-wing Teals and an American Wigeon were also in the north tray. (The Wigeon was my first for the year).   In the south – west tray, there was a Great Egret, a Little Blue Heron and two Common Gallinules.  A Snowy Egret, a Little Blue Heron and a few shorebirds were wading just in front of the observation hut.  Meanwhile Cattle Egrets were busy flying overhead to and from the rookery.  At 7:15am I took a look at the back swamp where most of the Herons and Egrets roost.  It was empty with just two Green Herons flying around.  I then concluded that I had arrived too late and the Heron had already flown the coop.

I spent an hour at the WSR, leaving at 7:30am, I saw 20 species; one was a first for the year but no lifers and no Purple Heron.  My guess is that I got to Woodbourne too late and missed the bird.  For my next attempt I will strive to arrive before sunrise.

The search for the Ardea purpurea continues…