Following reports of a first winter Purple Heron in the fields adjacent to the caravan park at Capel Gwyn on Anglesey, I went down at the first opportunity which happened to be Sunday. The day's aren't long enough anymore to get out even at the earliest point after work in the week so weekends are the only option! As we arrived on site, the bird hadn't showed for over an hour and a small crowd had assembled.. Steff needed this as a lifer so the pressure was on. Fortunately, we were granted permission to access the field it was in and within minutes the birders stumbled by luck with it right in front of them.
Although much further behind, I expected the bird to take to the skies but it seemed blissfully unbothered about people standing a matter of metres away from it. There has been reports that the bird had a broken leg, although this, thankfully wasn't affecting it's ability to fly, feed or forage. Anyone who has seen the bird would probably agree that it certainly looks vulnerable and with local farmyard dogs and probably foxes, it's certainly at risk.
The bird stayed put for the half an hour I was there and then was reported flying into the adjacent field after lunch. One thing that did strike me was the size of it's bill which is maximised best in the image below. You rarely acquire such close views from a Grey Heron, never mind Purple! A great bird to see nevertheless and fingers crossed it keeps out of trouble and makes a recovery.
A small and short video of the first winter Purple Heron below too