Hidden in the rushes

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 Heron
Butorides virescens

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.

Author: BeckyB

It's a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, reading, blogging, and best of all spending time with family, friends & the cat!

15 thoughts

  1. I’m with you on this one – it is sad when a bird finds itself alone and so far from where it’s supposed to be. I wonder if it will try to find its way back or just fly off hoping for the best?

  2. It is a sad looking bird at best of times but to be alone……I hope it has a happy life in Algarve. Vagrant is an unusual word to call the Heron.

  3. Oh, but such a lovely bird and how marvellous for you to see it; hopefully it will get strength to enable it to fly back to where it should be.

    1. It is lovely isn’t it. Apparently it is unlikely to fly back because of how far it has been blown off course, really hoping that’s not true though.

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