We have thrown in another flying heron, to confuse matters. The brown tones should rule out the egrets, as well as Grey Heron. And the thick neck and relatively large head rule out Purple Heron as well. We are left with bitterns and the smaller, darker herons. The non-white wings immediately take Squacco Heron out of the equation and the bill is too narrow and pointed for a young Night Heron (which have ‘stumpy’ bills). Bitterns have black crowns and moustaches and fine black streaking on the breast and lower neck. Also, compared to the vegetation, this is a tiny heron. It is a juvenile Little Bittern, a species which is slowly colonising the UK.
KEY FEATURES Brown and streaky heron Thick neck and relatively large head White belly, darkish wings Yellowish feet