Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides

A rare visitor to the UK from southern Europe. There have been a handful of Norfolk records but first few photos below show an individual photographed in Devon. It was discovered in a very atypical environment, an urban park, and quickly acquired a reputation for performing exceptionally well to birders, photographers and the general public.

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron, Newton Abbott (Devon, UK), 8th October 2005

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron  

Squacco Heron, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 28th April 2012

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron, Portopal di Capo Passero (Sicily, Italy), 1st May 2012 - a flock of 8 on the beach until flushed by a fisherman - presumably migrants

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron, Ebro Delta (Cataluña, Spain), 20th May 2013

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 1st May 2012

 

Squacco Heron, Ebro Delta (Cataluña, Spain), 21st May 2013

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron, East Khawr (Dhofar, Oman), 11th November 2017 (I'm not sure if the bird photographed in flight was the same bird as the one photographed on the ground or not)

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron  

Squacco Heron, Khawr Rawri (Dhofar, Oman), 9th November 2017

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 28th April 2012

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
 

Squacco Herons, Camargue (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 12th September 2002

 

Squacco Heron  

Squacco Heron, Birecik (Turkey), 14th May 2010

 

In Africa I found them very approachable (though being in a boat helps). Although the Palaearctic race ralloides winters in Africa these birds were probably the extremely similar locally-breeding form paludivaga.

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Herons (race paludivaga), Lake Chilwa (Malawi), 15th May 2011

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron  

Squacco Herons (race paludivaga), Liwonde National Park (Malawi), 24th-25th September 2008

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Herons (race paludivaga), Liwonde (Malawi), 26th May 2011

 

Squacco Heron Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron Squacco Heron

Squacco Herons (race paludivaga), Lake Chilwa (Malawi), 26th September 2008

 

Squacco Heron  

Squacco Heron (race paludivaga), Mpatsanjoka, Senga Bay (Malawi), 9th October 2008