Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding -

Here is a large heron stand­ing in the open, mak­ing no at­tempt to con­ceal it­self or its iden­tity. The stum­bling block is the light; warm light from a low sun can play havoc with per­cep­tions of colour and tone. In­deed, the warm light on this heron gives a strong im­pres­sion that it is brown bird, with warm, buff un­der­parts, mak­ing it look some­what like a ju­ve­nile Pur­ple Heron. But, the face is un­striped, the crown ex­ten­sively dark. The crown is also quite rounded, lead­ing to a thick-set, dag­ger-shaped bill. Pur­ple Herons are skin­nier birds, with the long, straight, nar­row bill look­ing more an ex­ten­sion of the head shape. Men­tally re­move the warm light and the bird be­comes grey with grey-and-white un­der­parts. This is an im­ma­ture Grey Heron.

KEY FEA­TURES †Small head and large body im­plies a large heron †Over­all grey plumage, bathed in de­cep­tive orange light †Grey face with dark crown †Rounded head and thick base to bill

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