Friday 2 June 2023


A Squacco Heron was seen at Filey Dams on Friday 26th May. It flew off late afternoon and I speculated that it might turn up the next day in the LDV; it didn't! 

A couple of days later, it was discovered at Potter Brompton to the southwest of Scarborough, close to the River Hertford, a tributary of the Derwent: a little nearer at least! I was tempted to twitch it, but didn't really have chance, so when the news came through that Mal Richardson had found it at Bank Island yesterday morning, I dropped everything and shot down there. To my delight, the bird was showing on arrival, in the nearest area of reedswamp. Mal had apparently picked it up scanning with Craig's bins from the back of the office! The bird stalked about catching unknown prey, frequently disappearing behind clumps of vegetation. I watched it for half an hour enjoying the social with lots of familiar faces turning up to see it, and also noted Great and Little Egrets on the flash, plus several Grey Herons. 

Early afternoon, it unexpectedly flew south and was refound later by Alan Whitehead at his old patch of North Duffield Carrs, where it is still present at the time of writing. 

This is the York area's first Squacco Heron and it was a dream to see it at Bank Island, so big congrats to Mal for finding it. This is my fourth British Squacco, but my first in Yorkshire, so I am very pleased to have seen it. This is only the fourth Yorkshire Squacco since the turn of the century, with one in East Yorkshire for a couple of days in May 2020, following one at Kilnsea Wetlands in June-July 2018 and one also at Kilnsea/Spurn in September 2010.

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