Rarity finders: Green Heron, Heligan, Cornwall


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. I was unsure of its identity and even though looking through my binoculars I was still none the wiser. It then turned its head and I saw the bill and was totally flummoxed. Although I knew it was one of the heron family it was not one I was familiar with.

Green Heron
Green Heron, Heligan, Cornwall (Photo: Bob Mitchell)

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The Wildlife Team researched 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), have video footage of the bird taking a dragonfly, but then dropping it, and the Water Rail then picking it up and eating it.

Green Heron
Green Heron, Heligan, Cornwall (Photo: Bob Mitchell)

The bird was officially identified by Derek Julian (CBWPS) and Stan Christophers and is still present this morning.

Written by: Bob Mitchell, Cornwall