Friday, 25 October 2013

123. Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

Squacco Heron is another one that turns up in the UK occasionally as a vagrant. Their breeding range is distributed patchily around the Mediterranean and southern Europe, across into parts of the Middle East, and they winter in Africa. The photo shows the adult's breeding plumage; outside the breeding season it is a duller brown and the nape and neck are more strongly striped. The Squacco Heron's wings are all white, but they are hidden when the bird is on the ground - however in flight it can appear almost all white. Squacco Herons' preferred habitat is freshwater ponds, streams, swamps, rivers and lakes with abundant vegetation.

Squacco Heron, ©Giuss95, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Squacco Heron painting.
I wasn't too happy with this just after I'd done it, but actually looking back it's not so bad! As usual I ran out of time to finish the feet, one day I will start with the feet to prevent this.....

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