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A Squacco Heron in Sussex

So this week hasn’t been great.  My lovely Irish setter, Dillon, has a major health problem and I’ve spent a lot of the week trying to get him sorted out via trips for various referrals and tests. It turns out that he has a soft tissue tumor  on his leg which is being operated on next Tuesday. This will probably be followed by radiotherapy to try and remove anything nasty left over. Thanks heavens that we cancelled his health insurance recently because it was too expensive (sic) !!

Getting him sorted has been my big priority this week so birding has had to take second fiddle but today I had the opportunity for some lighter relief.  I got up early and walked the dogs to give Carolyn a bit of a lie in and then did the two hour drive to Pagnham harbor in Sussex to try to connected with a Squacco  heron that has been around for a week or so. This bird is a rare vagrant to the UK from its normal summer range in the mediterranean.

My birding friend Nick visited the bird a week ago and gave me some excellent location details which allowed me to find the bird very easily and I spent a very enjoyable four hours in its company. It spent almost all the time in one location in reeds in a small stream. It clearly had no motivation to move as, in the normal stealth manner of a heron, it was regularly catching and eating small fish. Through the scope it was exquisitely beautiful with long streaked head plumes, a streaked head and a mainly tawny buff body. Only in its one short flight did it reveal its  bright white wings.

On a bird related note, my beloved seagulls (i.e. Brighton and Hove Albion FC) had a cracking start to the premier league season under their new manager thrashing Watford 0-3 away. This left them in the champions league qualification positions at 4th in the premier league. Ok only 3% of the seasons games have been completed but we are all allowed to dream!!


  1. Excellent - sorry to hear about Dillon (& the insurance) - hope the treatment goes well!!! x


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