A few weeks ago we turned into twitchers as a German birder pointed out to us something incredibly unusual on the lake at São Lourenço, a Green Heron.
Green Herons are neither Portuguese native or visitor; in fact it is extremely rare to see one in Western Europe as they are American herons. This one is a vagrant, and must have been blown off course by the storms in the Autumn. It was first spotted here in mid October, and the lake and surrounding wetlands are perfect habitat for it. However it is obviously still disorientated from its unusual journey as they are almost nocturnal birds, and so to see it so easily during daylight is not a great sign.
Not that will have bothered twitchers, whose passion is to see as many different birds as they possibly can and preferably in previously unseen places. Many of them will have travelled hundreds of miles to see it so they can tick it off their life and species lists. As birders however, ie those who prefer to take their time to observe any bird whether rare or common, it was interesting to see, but our lasting emotion was one of sadness. This bird shouldn’t be here, it should be in north or central America.