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Hello from Northumberland, help me identify HUGE bird

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Old Friday 15th May 2020, 21:56   #1
LSAMc
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Question Hello from Northumberland, help me identify HUGE bird

Hi guys!

Hope you're all surviving lockdown !

Hoping you can help with identifying a bird that has bugged me and my family for about 4 years now.
We live in Northumberland, in a little town and our house backs onto some farmland and trees.
We saw a HUGE bird appear from the trees, about the size of a pelican. It was light grey in colour with a long yellow/orange beak with what looked like some sort of flexible pouch below the beak.
What fascinated us was how slow and "heavy" each beat of it's wings were. It looked incredibly slow and heavy.
As you can probably tell I know nothing about birds but hope someone can help 🙂

We looked into local sightings at the time and found nothing, there is a small manor house nearby that hunt for game on their land but no record of any birds like that in the area.

Sadly no photos as it all happened so quick and was totally unexpected.
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Old Friday 15th May 2020, 22:04   #2
KC Foggin
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Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

Hopefully, someone from your side of the pond will ring in with some suggestions.

We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like
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Old Friday 15th May 2020, 22:08   #3
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Hi LSAMc and a warm welcome from me too.

The only native bird that I can think of that's grey and has a yellow bill is a Grey Heron, but the pouch under the bill is a problem, that really only fits a pelican and there aren't any in the UK (except for some in zoos and safari parks).

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I hope to hear about all the birds you see when out and about.
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Old Friday 15th May 2020, 22:17   #4
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Welcome to Birdforum! I am sure that you will find lots to interest you here and I hope that you enjoy your visits.
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Old Friday 15th May 2020, 23:50   #5
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Hi and welcome to the forum. Nice of you to join us.

As far as no pouch on a Gray Heron, If his head was tucked back in flight like our herons here in the U.S. do it might look like a pouch.
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Old Saturday 16th May 2020, 04:37   #6
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Hello and welcome to the forum, enjoy and all the best.
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Old Saturday 16th May 2020, 05:30   #7
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A Grey Heron for sure.
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Old Saturday 16th May 2020, 06:40   #8
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Old Saturday 16th May 2020, 10:21   #9
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Hi LSAMc and welcome to BF. I agree with Grey Heron. They nest in colonies, in treetops, so there may be one near you !
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Old Saturday 16th May 2020, 10:32   #10
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The beak can appear very orange as they attain full breeding plumage. With the description and behaviour you've supplied I'm confident the bird was a Grey Heron.
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Old Saturday 16th May 2020, 12:58   #11
LSAMc
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Smile

Thank you everyone !
After looking at photos of a grey heron, there were quite a number of similarities :)
I'd still say from memory it was more the shape/size of a pelican rather than the slight silhouette of the heron.

Maybe there was a stray one from a local zoo or something!

Thanks so much to everyone for commenting and happy bird watching
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Old Sunday 17th May 2020, 10:16   #12
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Old Tuesday 26th May 2020, 13:15   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSAMc View Post
Thank you everyone !
After looking at photos of a grey heron, there were quite a number of similarities :)
I'd still say from memory it was more the shape/size of a pelican rather than the slight silhouette of the heron.

Maybe there was a stray one from a local zoo or something!

Thanks so much to everyone for commenting and happy bird watching
Definately a Grey Heron: Size, shape, colour, slow wing beat. They are about the biggest thing that you will see flying in your part of the world and are not far off the size of a pelican.
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