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.

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

 

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

 

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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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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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.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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