The calling tawny owl said it all. 20:25 and not a glimmer of any heron activity today, despite David Ware starting out at 6.15am. 7 days is a good run for an adult purple heron that should be in Europe doing better things - so we wish it all the best and hope it reaches its intended destination. We consider the bird gone unless there is a major turn-around tomorrow - the reserve will close at its normal 6pm again from Monday night unless you are a member.
It is unfortunate it became so elusive later in its stay after such a showy start - as with this great picture taken by J Utton last Saturday (A scan of an inkjet print - hence quality):
Thanks to everyone who either came and saw or at least attempted it and the volunteer team who helped us run the site during its stay. Credit to Derrick Venus - webmaster of the HVWG site who is recognised as the birds initial finder. Hopefully our run of good birds will continue further into the year.
Other sightings today were the usual drake scaup on D res with two fine looking little gulls and a smattering of yellow wagtails. Water rail was on North Marsh and a great first for year was the discovery of two drake garganey on Watton NR - still present at 20:00 tonight. More reed and sedge warblers also in today.
Probably the most notable sighting however was Martin Hodges' discovery of the earliest VC61 record for large red damselfly today - pic below thanks to Martin - with more info on his blog:
Like Martin - thanks to the Yorkshire Branch of the British Dragonfly Society - website here.