Giles Wemmbley-Hogg misses unusual bird on home patch
April 2012. On the 3rd April, Chris Townend was lucky enough to photograph this superb adult Purple Heron, ordinarily found in Southern Europe like the Camargue. The bird is believed to have migrated too far north from its African wintering grounds during the stable high pressure weather systems a couple of weeks ago and as a result it is a classic "spring overshoot" which sometimes happens during suitable weather conditions.
Chris is a wildlife guide, leading trips all over the world, but when Chris is not away guiding tours, he is often to be found on his local birding patch, The Otter Estuary, near Budleigh Salterton in Devon.
The bird remained typically elusive, for its week-long stay feeding in wet fields and ditches, but with patience it could be viewed on occasions as it ventured into the open. Chris was the second person to see the bird, after a birder from nearby Exmouth had spread the news of his find.
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