Great Blue Heron

I saw this Heron in my garden (Box, Wiltshire) earlier this week. A Google search suggests it might be a juvenile Great Blue Heron and two bird enthusiasts have said they are highly confident it is one. I’m aware that if that is right, it is a very rare sighting. 

Are you able to give a firm identification, based on these photos?

  • To be honest I think it's a grey heron. There are more experienced birders on here, though, so I'd wait for more opinions.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • TeeJay (Tony) already confirmed yesterday his thoughts on this in reply to your first post

    "It's a Grey Heron, Probably a juvenile as the colours look fairly muted and the black head stripe is not well defined."

    I agree with Tony and Clare.
    (Just a tip as I know this site is a bit old and clunky)
    You just need to reply to your original post to bump it up to the top instead of starting another.

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Thank you, Linda. I thought I'd answered this one so was surprised to see it pop up again.

    Two records of Great Blue Heron have been recorded in the UK and it has been put on the British list. See HERE

    However, I can't see any reason why this bird is anything other than a Grey Heron. What led you to believe it might be?



    My Flickr Photostream 

  • You had answered, TJ. I didn't realise that this had already been answered previously.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • That's the trouble with searches returning American websites. Always best to stick to UK sites as it can almost be guaranteed that novice bird watchers will have potential matches to sift through.

    Re "two bird enthusiasts", not sure if you know them, but it's frankly going against all the odds and is clearly an internet search based guess. At least you'll know for next time.

    The photos aren't clear, but are clear enough to show an immature grey heron with no unusual characteristics, as has been said above by others and in the previous post.

  • If you get a great Blue Heron in your garden you will be overrun with birders as it should be in America.As said previously it is a Grey Heron. Robbo is right about getting info from non UK search sites., even "bird enthusiasts" are wrong sometimes.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • We live in Hampshire, and saw what we also thought looked like a Great Blue Heron immature yesterday (29/10/2020) in our garden. I'm new to this forum and I'm not sure how I can go about uploading some photos. I managed to get some good ones. Even if it's just a regular grey one, it was still lovely to see and a pleasant surprise! Please advise. Thanks.
  • In reply to Hampshire Hog:

    As they look very similar, if people first look up on the internet and see USA photos, there will be mistaken I.D. It's best to look first for the more obvious UK species and rule them out. Any reason why it looked like a great blue heron rather than a grey heron?

    Re uploading photos, the main issue is file size. If you are trying but seeing it fail, the photo needs reducing in filesize. If you're not getting as far as that, if you click, 'More' under your post, and, 'edit' there is an 'insert' option. Select, 'image' and go from there.....
  • Many thanks Robbo.

    You're right, occam's razor should have sprung to mind and it's probably simply a UK species. It was actually this video on youtube (which is actually just static photos and came up in the top search results in google images) that made me wonder, as they look so very similar.

    I've never posted on this forum before (and I'm not an ornithologist), but I thought if it was something of interest to the community then I should share it for comment, plus I was curious as to what it was.

    Thanks again. I'll see if I can upload any more photos on the separate thread I also started.