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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 18:23   #1
karpman
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have a look at this heron Uk plz

Here it is
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 18:31   #2
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deformed grey?
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 18:44   #3
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Dunno, I put it out as Purple after having it confirmed by a guy who works at twycross zoo.

Since getting home i thought i better put some pictures up and see whats what.
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 18:48   #4
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strange indeed, not helped by how tatty it is - the bill looks huge, and though seemingly very long is perhaps too thick for purple - I don't get a purple feel from it at all - it looks rather lacking in pattern, I reckon it's a soiled grey, but would prefer to have a better look at it.
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 18:50   #5
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White patch and bill worry me, Strange bird even in flight not typical bird at all.
legs are brighter than picture portrays and bill is day glow.

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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 18:50   #6
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on plumage I'd go for juv. grey, however that massive bill was more what I was looking at first time round!! It is probably slightly deformed anyway so any plumage abnormalities could be explained using that theory.
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 18:53   #7
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Originally Posted by gropperwinch View Post
on plumage I'd go for juv. grey, however that massive bill was more what I was looking at first time round!! It is probably slightly deformed anyway so any plumage abnormalities could be explained using that theory.
every were i look juv grey have some darkness to the top of beak this bird had none.

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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 19:01   #8
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a juvenile Purple Heron should have a bit of dark on the beak too. This bird just has an abnormal bill, and I wish I could say otherwise but the rest of the plumage fits Grey more than Purple IMHO. nice find though, it had my pulse racing too at first
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 19:07   #9
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Given the time of year it can't be a juv. I think its a Grey Heron with soiled plumage. Structurally, it doesn't look anythink like a Purple Heron.
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 19:13   #10
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Given the time of year it can't be a juv. I think its a Grey Heron with soiled plumage. Structurally, it doesn't look anythink like a Purple Heron.
Nothing wrong with a juv grey heron at this time of year - purple breed later - could be a 2cy though too.
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 19:24   #11
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Bizarre! A swift check in my various books suggests that no heron has a bill like this. One possibility is peculiar heron with a grotesquely abnormal bill and oddly coloured legs - if so my bet would be on Grey Heron, but given just how odd it looks I wouldn't like to be certain without more/better photos. The other option is a very unlikely hybrid (doesn't that bill look stork like?!) which isn't quite as unlikely as it seems as there have been some very odd combos - wasn't there a very odd ibis hybrid a while back (Sacred Ibis x Spoonbill or something equally off the wall),
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 19:30   #12
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wow, I did think at the time it had a stork-like bill. White Stork x Grey or Purple Heron you're suggesting then? I really wish this could be true, but I can't really see any stork features besides the bill that will support this. Great Idea though John!
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 19:37   #13
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Many years ago I thought I'd found a Purple Heron on my local patch, but closer examination and it turned out to be a dark Grey Heron (can't say or spell the word needed!) Mellanistic I think!
Anyway this bird does look rather similar too that one all be it many years ago.
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 19:39   #14
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http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=164914

believe this is the bird John mentioned.
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 21:22   #15
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That's one odd heron! My first impression on bill size alone was Goliath heron...but the bill should be black. The possibility of a Goliath x Grey happening let alone turning up in the uk is very slim!? The jizz of the bird with that huge bill is also reminiscent of Marabou Stork which is also a slightly outrageous suggestion.....In short I'm not sure what to make of this one.
Are there any more pictures of this bird/ Its clearly an oddity!
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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 21:23   #16
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I see no reason for it not to be a Grey Heron. Genetics suggests some mutations will occur and the bird appears partially melanistic, which may increase the chances of an abnormal bill. I can see why you thought it was a Purple Heron tho.

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Old Saturday 22nd May 2010, 21:26   #17
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People who went to see this bird were only getting really poor, mainly obscured, views of the bird's head and bill while I was there: it looked nothing like a Grey Heron, the bill being heavy and bright orange. The bird seemed to be very wet which did not help. It showed briefly as it flew further away and I noted the upperwing as 'leaden'.

Having read up a bit it does not look much like a Purple Heron either though. Someone has already labelled it as a 'manky Grey' which is the most likely I suppose. Where it gets that bill from is anyone's guess though.

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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 08:13   #18
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A strange bird indeed, My apologies for creating any hysteria in sleepy Leicestshire.

Would love to some better photos of the bird as mine were taken through a scope with a phone and don't portray it all that well.
My assumption on Purple heron was not made alone nor was it made lightly, Also was seconded by other birders, Just in case anyone is feeling a bit grumpy because they missed there barbies and burnt some diesel:)

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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 08:56   #19
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A strange bird indeed, My apologies for creating any hysteria in sleepy Leicestshire.

Would love to some better photos of the bird as mine were taken through a scope with a phone and don't portray it all that well.
My assumption on Purple heron was not made alone nor was it made lightly, Also was seconded by other birders, Just in case anyone is feeling a bit grumpy because they missed there barbies and burnt some diesel:)

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No worries or grumpiness round here karpman....!

That is one seriously messed up bird...[looks like it fell out the 'ugly-tree' and hit every branch on the way down]...!

Heard about this heron on way the home from elsewhere yesterday...and i was going to go for this bird today...but having only just noticed this thread....i ain't going now...!

As to what the actual species is....[apart from being a freak]...well...i don't think i really want to know!

Can understand the initial confusion tho....

ps...i thought that Marabou was the ugliest looking storkyheron thing...until looking at that photo...[be kinder to 'put it down' wouldn't it]...?

Poor buger....
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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 09:10   #20
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It's quite a splendid looking thing in the flesh, The bill is quite amazing and is a superb bird to see in flight, The chappy who worked at the zoo conformed no escapes from there either which was of initial concern.

Had my reservations about the bird the moment I got home, For me at least it certainly don't tick the grey heron boxes either, Don't like the forehead shape and would expected to see more white even on a soiled bird as for the bill it was the first thing noticed when it was outside hide 1 it pointed it high into the air whilst crouched as apposed downwards.

Maybe it was just the wet making the bill look huge, I also take a bit solace in the fact it had more than me fooled. All though my boss will never let me live this down lol.

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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 09:13   #21
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I only got flight views of this bird yesterday and I assume that the picture must have been taken ten minutes after I left. I hope people aren't giving up on this one. I, for one, would love to see some more pictures.
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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 09:57   #22
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Would love to see more photos of this bird (and wouldn't feel my time wasted going to see it at all, Karpman)

I'm not convinced the bill is significantly larger than in Grey Heron - I think it is at least in large part an illusion caused by it being uniformly bright in colour. Compare side by side with normal Grey Heron pictures to see what I mean.

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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 10:06   #23
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Yeah,
Think the wetness around the head do'es nothing for the bird provoked a lot of interest for sure.

I made the picture available A.s.a.p the bird looked remarkably good in flight and was very very elusive the photo was from the one and only time it came out into the open it perched on a post of all things lol.

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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 10:32   #24
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The bill looks bigger because of missing feathers around the base, and the feathers on the forehead are flattened or stuck down, maybe wet. I've messed around with one of the images in ms paint, it's a poor job, but I think it makes the point.

Yes. I have waay too much time on my hands.

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Old Sunday 23rd May 2010, 15:19   #25
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Little miffed as to why there has been little feedback from the people who seen the bird at the site.

Have also heard on the grapevine since there was a very dark heron at the site last year but this is not thought to be the bird, I also don't by into soiled it was to uniform and the bill to clean and a bright orange which this picture do'es not display, I would be interested to see any other shots out there.

My conclusions are this is a very strange "grey" Heron indeed and hope it turns up some were else, But this bird was very elusive at all times.

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