After failing to see my first Purple Heron in Little Chalfont back in November 2006 I was desperate to try and see the Juvenile that was first reported at Farmoor reservoir on the 11th August, It is thought that it may have been in the area at least 6 days earlier than this.
Arriving at Farmoor reservoir I was given the news that the bird was still about but very elusive often disappearing for hours at a time so we headed off over the causeway. My girlfriend and I then met up with a local birder who was heading towards the Pinkhill nature reserve where the bird had been seen from on a number of occasions. I had remembered my key to the Pinkhill hide so we unlocked the door and headed inside, a scan round the reserve didn't show anything exciting and sadly no Purple Heron so we left the hide and went our separate ways. I decided to walk along the river path that backs on to Shrike meadow and hoped that any hiding Heron could be viewed through the back of the reeds, a large flock of Canada and Greylag Geese were on the far bank of the Thames and a single Grey Heron was stalking the shallows. Further along the path 2 Kingfishers could be heard calling to each other from the back of the reserve but little else was visible, we stopped at each of the hides to scan Shrike meadow but very little was about so we headed off to the top of the reserve to look down on the meadow. I asked a birder in the top hide at Shrike meadow if he'd had any luck, he told me that it had just flown in to the reeds at the back of the meadow and disappeared from sight, a gentle stream of birders were joining us as we stood overlooking the meadow, we scanned the reeds for nearly an hour until somebody spotted it in front of the reeds, within seconds it was gone again. We had now been joined by 2 birdwatchers from Birmingham and were busy having a conversation with them when i heard a Heron call, i stopped to listen and waited with baited breath, was it a Grey or Purple Heron?, again it called and suddenly a Juvenile Purple Heron appeared in the sky in front of us, we watched it as it flew up towards the trees before it circled round over the tree tops and then headed off towards the Pinkhill reserve.
2 Black Terns were also feeding over the F2 reservoir late afternoon with large numbers of Sand Martins also present.
Added To My Year List.
167. Purple Heron.
Added To My Life List.
269. Purple Heron.