It’s not very often that I find myself a lifer, in fact not since an Aquatic Warbler I found at the Newport Wetlands in September 2007. Today was always going to be good as I was going to be leading a Dawn Chorus walk. I led a walk in the week and it was superb, we had kingfishers posing for the punters, Marsh Harriers food passing, Bearded Tit and a whole host of other good stuff. So after that success I was hopeful that Radipole would produce the goods yet again. It certainly did as one of the first birds we got was this 1st summer Night Heron. Couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing, though a few people on the walk couldn’t quite see what all the fuss was about. After all it’s a greyish brown bird (not my words!) but it’s a lifer and the first at Radipole in some time. This shouldn’t have been a lifer as there’s been one over at Bournemouth recently but as I am not year listing I never made the effort. Photos were few and far between as the bird could not be approached and was repeatedly being flushed by people (some with their canine friends) wandering around the reserve. I did get lucky (though my exposure was all over the place!) and get a few shots when it was flushed and flew down the reserve right towards me.
By mid morning it had settled in this tree where it stayed for a while but was seen not long after I left and was flying back to where I had first found it.
As far as I know it’s not been seen since then but could easily be lurking somewhere on the reserve so a walk around at dusk might be in order. I must also mention that I also saw a female Goldeneye this morning. Very strange place for one to be in May??