Friday, 31 July 2020

31st July 2020 Unst SSE4 Clear

A late start after our night out(!) On our way to the shop, Kristofer kindly sent me a message to say he'd seen an interesting immature Heron at Dam Loch with purple around the base of its neck... an attached image confirmed its unusual appearance that also included dark patches on its upperparts. We joined Brydon there, and whilst the Heron's whitish face and pale grey upper neck-sides looked typical of those of a Grey Heron its patchy appearance and dark lower neck-sides were plain to see. However, it quickly took flight showing the typical short leg projection of a Grey Heron, and even more eye-catching, the asymmetrical and irregular dark markings present on its neck, mantle and upperwings looked suspiciously like being the result of some form of contamination to its plumage. Brydon picked out a Common Swift flying back and forth over the loch being only the second that I've seen this year.

contaminated? Grey Heron at Dam Loch (top image Kristofer Wilson)

First-summer Great Blue Heron on Bryher April 2015 (J.F. Cooper)